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AFL releases final-round draw
14:56 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012
Daniel Kerr of the Eagles in action against Hawthorn.
West Coast's AFL round 23 clash against Hawthorn at the MCG has been scheduled for Friday night.

West Coast's MCG clash in round 23 against Hawthorn has been scheduled for Friday night to allow the Eagles to return home to prepare for the finals series, the AFL said on Tuesday.

The AFL has released its schedule for the last round, with an emphasis on allowing current top-eight teams to play on Friday or Saturday.

The Sunday games in round 23 on September 2 feature Carlton (11th) and St Kilda (10th) at Etihad Stadium, Richmond (12th) and Port Adelaide (14th) at the MCG and Brisbane (13th) against Western Bulldogs (15th) at the Gabba.

The Cats host Sydney in Geelong on Saturday September 1, while Adelaide play Gold Coast at AAMI Stadium, Greater Western Sydney play North Melbourne at Skoda Stadium, Fremantle host Melbourne in Perth and Essendon face Collingwood at the MCG.

West Coast's squad will catch a late flight home on the Friday night to Perth while the first-placed Swans and seventh-placed Kangaroos can return to their home states on the Saturday night.

"We're trying to get the Eagles home as early as possible, and they've organised a flight for that night," AFL scheduling manager Simon Lethlean said.

"They're a top-five side at the moment, and deserve to be preparing for their finals series by getting home."

Potential minor premiers Sydney couldn't be considered for a Friday fixture because Simonds Stadium isn't equipped to host night games, Lethlean told the afl.com.au website.

"They play the early game on Saturday, they'll get home that night and, if they qualify for a home final, they'll have at least six or seven days into that game," he said.

"So it's the best we can do."


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