Hocking, Malksham ruled out for Bombers

Essendon will field one of their youngest sides in recent memory against Melbourne on Saturday after the late withdrawal of two senior AFL players through injury.

Heath Hocking (back) and Jake Melksham (hamstring) have been replaced in the 22 by Jason Ashby and Shaun Edwards.

Playing his first game of senior footy will be Jayden Laverde, who was taken by the club he supported growing up at pick 20 in last year’s draft.

Young leader Dyson Heppell is expected to captain the side against the Demons in skipper Jobe Watson’s absence.

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