Hawk Smith faces last-gasp fitness test

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Hawk Smith faces last-gasp fitness test

Hawthorn wingman Isaac Smith faces a last-gasp fitness test ahead of Friday night’s AFL qualifying final against West Coast.

Smith, who damaged knee ligaments last weekend, will be afforded every chance to prove he’s fit for the opening match of the AFL final series.

The winger didn’t train with teammates in Perth on Thursday, with assistant coach Adem Yze saying his test would come on matchday.

“Hopefully it all goes well … we’ll leave that until the last minute,” Yze said.

Smith has been named in a Hawthorn side bolstered by the return of a key trio – captain Luke Hodge, goalsneak Luke Breust and mercurial Cyril Rioli.

The Hawks, chasing a third consecutive premiership, dropped novices Daniel Howe, James Sicily and Angus Litherland.

The Eagles made two changes to their side, recalling midfielder Scott Selwood and key defender Will Schofield, who returns from a three-match absence because of a hamstring strain.

Onballer Chris Masten was ruled out by a hamstring injury and Jackson Nelson was dropped for the first of four finals matches this weekend.

Minor premier Fremantle host Sydney in a Saturday afternoon qualifying final in Perth, the Western Bulldogs meet Adelaide in a Saturday night elimination final at the MCG, the same ground where Richmond and North Melbourne clash in a Sunday elimination final.

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