'Pies drop Dawes ahead of AFL finals
By Roger Vaughan
20:47 AEST Thu Aug 30 2012

Collingwood finally lost patience with their key forward double act, dropping Chris Dawes for Saturday night's key AFL match against Essendon.

Dawes and Travis Cloke have struggled in the lead-up to the finals.

The Magpies (placed fifth) must now beat the Bombers and hope West Coast lose to make the top four after successive losses to fellow finalists North Melbourne and the Eagles.

The season is over for Collingwood's VFL team, meaning Dawes cannot go down a level to regain form.

He has only kicked 14.20 in 20 games this season.

Collingwood made five changes for the game, with No.1 ruckman Darren Jolly and captain Nick Maxwell returning from injury.

Small forward Andrew Krakouer is the feel-good story, playing his first game of the season after undergoing a knee reconstruction over the summer.

The `Pies lost Jarryd Blair with a groin injury, while Jackson Paine and Jamie Elliott were recalled for Ben Sinclair and Paul Seedsman.

There were a host of big-names selections with the finals only a week away.

Every position in the top eight could change this weekend.

* Hawthorn (top) recalled utility Cyril Rioli for Friday night's blockbuster against West Coast, even though he left Thursday training early, and dropped Xavier Ellis.

* The Eagles (fourth) lost Matt Rosa (collarbone) and Eric Mackenzie (hamstring) and recalled Mitch Brown and Jacob Brennan.

* Sydney (second) regained Jude Bolton, one of their toughest players, only three weeks after a nasty-looking knee injury for Saturday's must-win away match against Geelong.

But the Swans lost key forward Sam Reid (glute) and dropped Mitch Morton, while Tommy Walsh was recalled.

* The Cats (sixth) beefed up their side ahead of September, bringing back captain Joel Selwood, defensive general Matthew Scarlett and Taylor Hunt.

Ruckman Nathan Vardy also plays his first senior game this season after recovering from a hip injury.

The omissions are Travis Varcoe (foot), Billie Smedts (hand), Cameron Guthrie and Josh Walker.

* Fremantle (seventh) named captain Matthew Pavlich and ruckman Jonathon Griffin for Saturday's home game against Melbourne.

They also promoted midfielder Tom Sheridan for his senior debut.

Kepler Bradley (concussion), Matt De Boer (ankle) and Zac Clarke are the omissions.

* Adelaide (third) made two changes, losing Bernie Vince (knee) and dropping Luke Brown for Matthew Jaensch and Rory Sloane.

* North Melbourne (eighth) are unchanged for Saturday's trip to play Greater Western Sydney, with Daniel Wells and Nathan Grima yet to prove their fitness.

In other selection news, Essendon recalled David Hille and named Jackson Merrett for his senior debut among five changes.

GWS made seven changes, with Israel Folau, Dean Brogan, Rhys Palmer and Chad Cornes amongst the inclusions.

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