Dockers star set to miss AFL opener

Fremantle will have to go to the tribunal if they want to have ruckman Aaron Sandilands available for the start of the AFL season.

Sandilands became the first player to be reported this season after his clash with Richmond opponent Ben Griffiths in the third quarter of Friday’s NAB Challenge match.

They were jostling for a ruck contest when Sandilands tried to block Griffiths so a teammate could take the tap.

Sandilands collected Griffiths high with his shoulder, laying the Tiger out.

The match review panel booked Sandilands for rough conduct and handed him a two-match ban.

If Sandilands accepts the penalty it will mean a one-game suspension and he must serve it for the round-match against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

The Dockers would risk the two-game penalty if they went to the tribunal.

The incident was ruled as careless conduct with medium impact to the head.

Meanwhile, Chris Knights and Jason Johnson will replace Luke Ball and Brad Sewell on the match review panel.

Knights retired at the end of last season after 102 games with Adelaide and Richmond.

Johnson, who retired in 2008, was a two-time best and fairest winner at Essendon and played in their 2000 premiership team.

The AFL said in a statement Sewell had stepped down because of work and travel commitments.

Ball will have an expanded role in the AFL football operations department.

Knights and Johnson will join Nathan Burke and Michael Christian on the MRP.

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