Sydney premiership hero Ted Richards has been dumped for the AFL clash against Carlton among four changes made by Swans coach John Longmire.
Richards, a 33-year-old veteran of 261 games, made his name as a lockdown key defender for the Swans but has looked mostly out of sorts playing as lead-up forward in the past fortnight against Geelong and Hawthorn.
Hard-nosed midfielder Ben McGlynn was also omitted, while co-captain Jarrad McVeigh (groin) and Zac Jones (ankle) could not be considered.
Into the lineup on Saturday night for fifth-placed Sydney came Richards’ younger brother Xavier, Isaac Heeney, Harry Cunningham and first gamer Jordan Foote.
Carlton brought in strong-marking forward Levi Casboult and Blaine Boekhorst for omitted duo Jed Lamb and Kristian Jaksch.
Slumping North Melbourne suffered a huge blow ahead of Friday night’s must-win clash against Collingwood at Etihad Stadium with key forward Jarrad Waite ruled out with an ongoing hip problem.
The Kangaroos have plummeted from first spot to eighth after dropping six of their past seven matches.
Corey Wagner was dropped, with Majak Daw and Trent Dumont coming into the lineup.
Collingwood made two unforced changes with omitted duo Brent Macaffer and Jordan de Goey making way for leading goalkicker Alex Fasolo and backman Marley Williams.
Patrick McGinnity was one of three West Coast players dropped for Saturday’s home clash against Melbourne.
Key defender Will Schofield was officially left out due to soreness, although he was included among the emergencies.
Big backman Eric Mackenzie came in as a straight swap for Schofield.
Melbourne also made four changes, with big forward Chris Dawes among the inclusions.
Having been rested last week against Fremantle, Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel will slot straight back into the Geelong lineup for Saturday night’s big clash against Adelaide, along with defender Jed Bews.
Lachie Henderson will miss the encounter against the red-hot Crows due to concussion, while Jordan Murdoch was dropped.
Adelaide will be strengthened by the return of Rory Laird.
The third-placed Western Bulldogs lost one of their biggest stars and regained another, with 2014 best and fairest winner Tom Liberatore coming in and star forward Jake Stringer (shoulder) going out for the game against St Kilda.
Fremantle lost more than 600 games of experience for Saturday’s trip to Metricon Stadium to take on Gold Coast.
The Dockers chose to rest former skipper Matthew Pavlich – who will bring up the 350-game milestone at home next week – while Hayden Ballantyne (facial fracture) and midfielder Michael Barlow (shoulder) will miss due to injury.
Among the inclusions were first gamer Shane Yarran and ruck-forward Zac Clarke.