TWO emerging players with south-west links are preparing for prime time following coronavirus-enforced changes to the AFL fixture.
St Kilda and Carlton will clash at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night after a Queensland government announcement on Monday threw the competition into chaos.
Portland export Rowan Marshall will feature for the Saints and Sam Walsh, who has links to Cobden, for the Blues.
The Saints-Blues match, which was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, has replaced the Richmond-West Coast encounter which was to be played in Queensland.
But Queensland quarantine requirements relating to Victorian teams - following a rise in COVID-19 cases in that state - forced a reshuffle to the round five fixture.
The Tigers will now play Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday afternoon while the Eagles, which are based in a Queensland hub, will welcome Sydney to Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the league would be agile and flexible in 2020 as it navigated its way through the pandemic.
"In football people love predictability, order and routine. This is a season where predictability, order and routine has been difficult," he said.
"Flexibility and agility are going to be the key traits needed to navigate the challenges provided by the COVID-19 pandemic and the different situations in each of the states and territories where we play.
"We are all going to have to get used to not having predictability, order and routine.
"That is what season 2020 is all about - it's a challenge. And those who accept and adapt to the challenge, those who show their resilience will be those who will do best."
McLachlan said the AFL would make "further changes as required".
"At the very start of this crisis we planned a number of contingencies to look at how we would get our games away in a manner and in locations where it was safe to do so," he said.
"As situations have changed in various states, so has our response. We find a way. We will continue to do so in a calm, controlled way.
"We have remained flexible and agile and will continue to do so as we work our way through completing the remaining 118 games of the home and away season plus finals."
One game - the round three match between Essendon and Melbourne - was postponed when a coronarvirus scare went through the Bombers' camp.
It is not yet known if the new quarantine rules will impact round six matches.