The Sydney Swans have made two changes to their team ahead of their Saturday afternoon match against the Adelaide Crows at the SCG.
Announced earlier in the week, superstar forward Buddy Franklin has been named in the side to make his long awaited return to AFL football.
Franklin's last match was his 300th game, in Round 23, 2019, a 45-point win against St Kilda at the SCG - 581 days ago.
The Swans have made do in his absence, trialing a number of combinations throughout a turbulent 2020 campaign, before settling on the forward combination that last week scored their highest total since Round 12, 2018.
Speaking to Swans TV, senior coach John Longmire said he just wants his star forward to play his role.
"We know he hasn't played for a while but we want him to play his role for our team and help us against a team which played really well last week, we know Adelaide are a really good challenge for us."
Joining Franklin in the side is midfielder Justin McInerney, playing his first game of the season and his 11th overall.
The 20-year-old impressed at the later stages of 2020, earning himself a Rising Star nomination in Sydney's 21-point win against Melbourne in Round 15.
"It's good to have him back in the team alongside Lance of course," John Longmire said.
"They are a couple of important inclusions."
Emerging midfielder James Rowbottom failed to prove his fitness for the Swans' clash, will miss the match after sustaining a knee injury in the opening quarter in the win against the Lions, while forward Hayden McLean makes way for Lance Franklin.
"James Rowbottom just didn't get up with his knee which was unfortunate," Longmire said.
"We were happy with Hayden McLean last week but Lance obviously comes in this week."
The match at the SCG on Saturday afternoon is the Swans' first game since Round 8, 2020, and will see a significant return of crowds for the first time since Round 23, 2019.
"We have to be really strong and put in a really consistent performance no matter where we play but it's obviously important back home," Longmire said.
"We need to make sure we give great effort and we need to do that this week in front of a huge red and white crowd."
Hayden McLean, Will Hayward, Matthew Ling and Dylan Stephens have been named as emergencies.
J. Rowbottom (Knee)
H. McLean (Omit)
|T. McCartin - 50th game|
Team announcement on Sydney Swans
Like what you’re getting? Want more Swans Blog, and the chance to have your input into our site and what we create? We have additional content weekly on our Patreon Service. This is your avenue, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and get more content like this.
If you'd like to support us, you can head over to our Red Bubble Swans Blog Shop, and purchase one of our hideously overpriced mugs, stickers or notebooks. Help keep The Swans Blog alive.
Want instant access to the latest blog and news content from The Swans Blog?
Download our Android App from Google Play today.