Cloke makes AFL return for crunch SCG date

Collingwood will throw the kitchen sink at their last shot at an unlikely AFL finals campaign, naming power forward Travis Cloke for Friday night’s match at the SCG.

The contested marking king missed the past three weeks with a calf complaint but has proved his fitness for Nathan Buckley’s side.

Cloke will line up alongside Ben Reid and youngster Darcy Moore for the first time, with the match a must-win for the Magpies’ fading finals ambitions.

They’ll confront a Sydney outfit short of their best form and without two stars in Lance Franklin and Ben McGlynn, though the return of Gary Rohan (hamstring) after five matches and Mike Pyke (knee) will boost the Swans.

Sydney assistant coach Stuart Dew said he was looking forward to Rohan’s return.

“His ability to take a mark in the forward line and kick a goal when we need it has been sorely missed … he’s such an important player for us,” Dew said.

“We’ve won before without Buddy, so other guys need to step up.”

The Magpies also recalled Jordan De Goey, dropping Matthew Scharenberg and Brayden Maynard.

On Saturday night, Steve Johnson will celebrate his 250th match by returning from suspension to face Hawthorn.

Johnson will replace George Horlin-Smith for the marquee occasion, while Hawthorn have made three changes in James Frawley’s 150th game.

Daniel Howe will play his second career game, with rested pair Brian Lake and David Hale returning to the line-up at the expense of Jonathon Ceglar (back) and dropped duo Ryan Schoenmakers and Taylor Duryea.

Essendon can count on David Myers again after a long lay-off and Tayte Pears for the first time since 2013, as they attempt to snap a four-week losing streak when they play Adelaide.

The Crows are unchanged but Myers’ return from a shoulder dislocation suffered in round one is among three Bombers changes.

North Melbourne have named Shaun Higgins (knee) and Ben Brown (calf) for their trip to Hobart, despite the pair reporting injury niggles after their win over Melbourne.

Michael Firrito’s return from suspension is the Kangaroos’ sole inclusion, while opponents St Kilda have made four forced changes.

Darren Minchington, Billy Longer, Jimmy Webster and Josh Saunders replace Daniel McKenzie (concussion), Shane Savage (hip), Paddy McCartin (soreness) and Jack Lonie (leg) after their bruising loss to Fremantle.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has swung the axe with five omissions for the visit of GWS Giants.

Tom Clurey, Andrew Moore, Sam Colquhoun, Matthew Lobbe and Aaron Young have all been axed while the Giants are fuming to miss midfielder Stephen Coniglio due to concussion.

In preliminary squads for the table-topping Western derby, Fremantle star Nat Fyfe has been named as expected. Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui remains on compassionate leave after the death of his mother.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!