Collingwood will start livewire forward Jack Ginnivan in the AFL grand final against Brisbane at the MCG on Saturday.
The Magpies have opted to include Ginnivan in the starting 22 for the decider, with the out-of-form Patrick Lipinski relegated to the sub role.
The Magpies are the $1.75 favourite with AFL betting sites for the grand final, with the Lions, who have won six successive games against their opponent, priced at $2.10.
Despite a challenging season and starting as substitute in both the qualifying and preliminary finals, Ginnivan has now successfully reclaimed his position on the team.
Ginnivan is joined in the starting line-up by Billy Frampton, who essentially comes in for injured forward Dan McStay, who went down in the Magpies’ preliminary final win over GWS.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae said the inclusion of Frampton will give the Magpies flexibility, with the Port Adelaide recruit capable of playing back, forward and in the ruck. Some pundits are earmarking him for a defensive forward role on Brisbane’s Harris Andrews.
“He [Frampton] can play second ruck so he gives us good flexibility for the team,” he said.
“For every heartache story [McStay’s injury] there’s an opportunity and Bill gets that.”
Brisbane’s Jack Payne was unsuccessful in his bid to return from an ankle injury, with coach Chris Fagan decided to retain Darcy Gardiner in an unchanged 22-man squad.
Lipinski will be disappointed to be relegated to sub given he has played 13 successive games after an early season injury.
The Magpies’ other hard-luck story is John Noble who played the entire home and away season, but was dropped during the final series.
Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said Lipinski, with his strong running ability, would still have a crucial role to play in the Magpies’ final.
“Pat’s elite running ability will no doubt inject energy into the game and we look forward to seeing him make an impact on Saturday,” he said.
In addition to the highly anticipated final, the game will also serve as a significant milestone for Collingwood defender Darcy Moore and Brisbane midfielder Dayne Zorko, who are set to play their 150th and 250th matches, respectively.
AFL Grand final teams
B: Nathan Murphy, Darcy Moore, Jeremy Howe
HB: Brayden Maynard, Billy Frampton, Isaac Quaynor
C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Oleg Markov
HF: Bobby Hill, Brody Mihocek, Jamie Elliott
F: Beau McCreey, Jordan De Goey, Josh Daicos
R: Mason Cox, Nick Daicos, Jack Crisp
INT: Tom Mitchell, Darcy Cameron, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Jack Ginnivan
SUB: Patrick Lipinski
EMG: John Noble, Finlay Macrae, Harvey Harrison
B: Brandon Starcevich, Harris Andrews, Darcy Gardiner
HB: Conor McKenna, Ryan Lester, Keidean Coleman
C: Hugh McCluggage, Josh Dunkley, Dayne Zorko
HF: Charlie Cameron, Eric Hipwood, Callum Ah Chee
F: Cameron Rayner, Joe Daniher, Zac Bailey
R: Oscar McInerney, Lachie Neale, Jarryd Berry
INT: Deven Robertson, Lincoln McCarthy, Jaspa Fletcher
SUB: Jarryd Lyons
EMG: James Tunstill, Darcy Fort, Jack Payne
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