Senior Bombers axed ahead of Eagles clash

Essendon will take on West Coast without a recognised ruckman after James Hird dropped Tom Bellchambers ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Hird reacted to last week’s thrashing at the hands of Geelong by axing the out-of-form Bellchambers along with Courtenay Dempsey.

The Bombers’ faltering season hit a new low with the 69-point mauling by the Cats, but there is some good news with skipper Jobe Watson returning from a groin injury for the trip to Perth.

Former Giant Shaun Edwards has also earned a call-up as the Dons try to avoid losing three games on the trot.

The Eagles have a big inclusion of their own with forgotten forward Jack Darling in for his first game since round 23 last year.

Darling has battled a foot injury this season but he returns to the line-up along with ex-Hawk Xavier Ellis.

Fraser McInnes and Jackson Nelson were omitted.

Port Adelaide and Geelong kick off round 11, the first of the bye rounds, when they clash at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The Power recalled Sam Colquhoun for the injured Karl Amon (calf), while the Cats regained ruckman Rhys Stanley from a quad injury at the expense of Michael Luxford.

North Melbourne and Sydney do battle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in their first meeting since last year’s preliminary final, won handsomely by the Swans.

Neither team made a change to line-ups that recorded wins last week.

Cellar dwellers Gold Coast have recalled Charlie Dixon for their clash against ladder leaders Fremantle.

Dixon has served a one-match ban for breaking team rules and drinking alcohol the night before their round-nine loss to Hawthorn.

The tall forward returns along with former Swan Nick Malceski and Jack Leslie, while key back Steven May (groin), Greg Broughton (Achilles) and Keegan Brooksby (calf) depart the side beaten by Sydney last week.

Paul Duffield and Zac Clarke have felt the wrath of Ross Lyon after Richmond ended the Dockers’ unbeaten run last week.

The pair were dropped, while Michael Johnson (hamstring) and Chris Mayne (illness) couldn’t be considered.

Lee Spurr, Alex Pearce, Tendai Mzungu and Jack Hannath come into the side for Saturday’s encounter at Metricon Stadium.

Collingwood have added Taylor Adams, Jarrod Witts and Brayden Maynard to an extended squad for the early game on Sunday against GWS at the MCG.

The Giants have included Nick Haynes, Zac Williams and Andrew Phillips.

The return of Sam Gilbert is the good news story for St Kilda ahead of their twilight clash with Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The veteran defender hasn’t played since round 22 last season thanks to a chronic foot problem but he is one of six inclusions in the Saints’ 25-man squad.

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