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Wood back for Magpies to face Eagles
By Roger Vaughan
21:32 AEST Thu Aug 23 2012

Collingwood back-up ruckman Cameron Wood faces a massive challenge when he returns to the AFL for Saturday's pivotal clash against West Coast.

Wood is among five inclusions for the Patersons Stadium match, where the fourth-placed Magpies can guarantee themselves a finals double chance by beating the Eagles, who are fifth.

With the finals only two matches away, Wood will come in for his sixth senior game this season for Darren Jolly.

The Magpies' No.1 ruckman was ruled out with soreness.

That means Wood will shoulder most of the workload against Dean Cox and Nick Naitanui, the league's best ruck combination.

Collingwood lost captain Nick Maxwell with a groin injury, while Jamie Elliott (groin) and Caolan Mooney (ankle) were also unavailable and Marty Clarke was dropped.

But the "ins" feature Brownlow Medallist Dane Swan, who is back from a club suspension.

Ben Johnson will play his first senior game since his shoulder injury earlier this season and Alan Toovey and Tyson Goldsack also return.

The Eagles will welcome back forward Josh Kennedy for his first game since a serious ankle injury earlier this season.

Sam Butler and Matt Rosa are two other handy recalls as the Eagles dropped Ashton Hams, Bradd Dalziell and Jacob Brennan.

St Kilda did not bring back captain Nick Riewoldt, who has had a knee injury, for Saturday's home game against Greater Western Sydney.

They left out Sam Fisher (toe), Justin Koschitzke (soreness), Adam Schneider (foot) and David Armitage (soreness) and dropped Jason Gram.

Seb Ross will make his senior debut as the Saints recalled Terry Milera, Jack Newnes, Arryn Siposs and Tom Ledger.

After several days of discussion about his AFL form, star rugby league convert Israel Folau was left out of the GWS side with a back injury.

He was among seven changes to the Giants' lineup, with Rhys Palmer and Callan Ward among those returning and Rhys Cooyou their 36th debutant.

As expected, Hawthorn recalled Lance Franklin, Sam Mitchell and Josh Gibson from injury for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash against Sydney.

Franklin has been out of action for six weeks.

The two-time Coleman Medallist was due to return last weekend, but his late withdrawal because of illness prompted plenty of rumours that he branded stupid.

The Swans are unchanged.

Out-of-form Essendon lost Dustin Fletcher (hip), Paddy Ryder (knee) and Jake Carlisle (ankle) for Friday night's match against Richmond.

The Bombers dropped Sam Lonergan and Brendan Lee and promoted Nick O'Brien for his senior debut.

Their other inclusions are Nathan Lovett-Murray, Scott Gumbleton, Tayte Pears and Mark Baguley.

Richmond recalled David Astbury, Jack Batchelor and Matt Dea for Jake King (foot), Ben Griffiths (concussion) and Brandon Ellis.

Travis Boak, the subject of much speculation about his AFL future, will return along with Tom Logan for Port Adelaide's home game against Brisbane.

Andrew Moore has a hamstring injury and Daniel Steward was dropped.

The Lion brought in Josh Drummond and James Hawksley for Matt Maguire (foot) and Elliott Yeo.

Gold Coast dropped Jared Brennan, Andrew McQualter and Josh Toy for Saturday's home game against Carlton, bringing in Charlie Dixon, Troy McKenzie and Jacob Gillbee.

The Blues lost Mitch Robinson (eye) and brought back David Ellard.


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