Hamilton Kangaroos added three teenagers among four changes for their match against ladder leader Warrnambool at Melville Oval tomorrow.
Former Nhill wingman Ryan Fischer will make his Hampden league debut, while fellow teens Josh Pepper and Luke Uebergang were recalled.
Ryan Newell also came back into the Roos’ line-up.
Suspended captain Kane Uebergang headed four major outs for the Kangaroos, who were already without injured trio Jarrod Holt, Andrew Pepper and Hamish Waldron.
Hugh Douglas (calf), Eric Guthrie (TAC Cup) and Lee Pye (back) were forced omissions.
Holt said the Kangaroos, despite their injury woes, would embrace the challenge against the Blues.
“Kane, you can’t replace a player like that but we have good depth, good players in the twos,” he said.
“It gives people an opportunity.
“I reckon it’s exciting for us to test ourselves against a good side.”
Warrnambool added three-time premiership player Brad Bull.
Bull’s premiership teammate Jye Turland was omitted.
Blues coach Scott Carter said Bull was a welcome addition after overcoming a hand injury.
“His leg speed is really important to us and his ability to carry the footy,” Carter said.
“Jye will bounce back. He just has to go back (to the under 18½s) and find a bit of form.
Creative defender Sam Anson, forward Sam McCartney and midfielder Adam Farley return from injury for Port Fairy’s crucial clash with Cobden at Gardens Oval.
Seagulls coach Sam Rudolph said the trio gave his side a massive boost.
“They are really good ins and we missed all of them last week: Sam with his lead-up role at centre half-forward, Farley with his grunt in the midfield and Anson with his run at half-back,” he said.
Cobden, aiming to end a five-game losing streak, also made three changes, bringing in teenager Christian Koroneos, forward Damon Delaney and debutant Jesse Williamson.
Bombers coach Stephen Hammond said Williamson, a 16-year-old wingman, was “very skilful and fast”.
Portland added Mitch Bunworth, who returns from a calf injury, for its match against Koroit at Hanlon Park.
Koroit, fresh from its come-from-behind win over Terang Mortlake, named an unchanged side for the second consecutive week.
North Warrnambool Eagles speedster Mark Murphy will miss his side’s crunch game against in-form South Warrnambool at Friendly Societies’ Park.
Eagles coach Bernard Moloney said the versatile Murphy had a minor knee injury and was only expected to miss one week.
Swingman Adam Wines was recalled after overcoming a corkie.
South Warrnambool welcomed back promising teenager Kyden Jarvis and key defender Jayden Askew.
North Ballarat Rebels-listed midfielder Liam Howarth was named for his TAC Cup debut and Ben Thornton returned to the under 18½ competition.
Terang Mortlake was dealt a blow, with a motorbike accident ruling midfielder Corey Rounds out of its must-win clash against Camperdown.
Bloods coach Matt Irving said Rounds hurt himself on Monday but was a chance to return next weekend.
“He’s really sore. There were no breaks,” he said.
Ruckman Ryan O’Connor (ankle) and Matthew Hayden (omitted) will also miss tomorrow, while Sam Spencer and Tom Smith — an up-and-coming cricketer — will make their senior debuts.
The 200-centimetre Spencer will replace O’Connor in the ruck and Smith was selected to play an onball role. Matt Arundell also earned a senior recall.