Big names back as Daniel Wells and Lance Franklin return


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Geelong named Gary Ablett but Patrick Dangerfield is out after aggravating his ankle against the Western Bulldogs.

Dangerfield, who was accused of overplaying his injury, will miss his first match since round one last season, the resilient Cat rarely forced out through injury.

The Cats resisted the temptation to bring Esava Ratugolea straight back after he was managed last week but Rhys Stanley returned to replace Ryan Abbott after being a late withdrawal against the Dogs. Tom Atkins returns after missing a week with a hip rotator problem and James Parsons gets his chance after good form in the VFL while Charlie Constable was dropped again.

Chad Wingard returns to play his former club when the Hawks take on Port Adelaide in Tasmania on Saturday with James Frawley also playing. Ben McEvoy is out injured and Dylan Moore was dropped while the Power got back co-captain Tom Jonas and crafty forward Robbie Gray. They also lost ruckman Scott Lycett to injury.

The Western Bulldogs axed four players after their fadeout against the Cats and brought back ruckman Tim English and included Bailey Dale, Bailey Williams and Patrick Lipinski.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge bemoaned the lack of input from some players with Fletcher Roberts battling to contain Tom Hawkins while Billy Gowers, Will Hayes and Lewis Young were dropped.

The Kangaroos stuck with the group that suffered a narrow loss to the Sydney Swans in Hobart with Luke Davies-Uniacke replacing Taylor Garner.

Melbourne named Jordan Lewis in a squad of 26 with Alex Neal-Bullen, who suffered concussion last week, the only player ruled out while the Giants, who are aiming to break their MCG hoodoo, ruled out Zac Williams through injury with Stephen Coniglio returning.

Carlton dropped Lochie O’Brien and Marc Murphy will miss with a rib injury but they have yet to finalise their team, naming Matt Kennedy, Lachie Plowman, Alex Fasolo, Patrick Kerr and David Cuningham on an extended bench of eight. Veteran Kade Simpson returns from a hamstring injury to be named in the back line, while the Saints left out Ben Paton with Nick Coffield and Hunter Clark in the squad.

Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.

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