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Final teams: Eagles swing a big late change for Dees battle

Tom Hickey is in for the Eagles

WEST Coast has sprung a selection surprise, bringing in ruckman Tom Hickey for defender Will Schofield for Friday night’s preliminary final rematch with Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson on Thursday said Nathan Vardy would ruck by himself against Melbourne star Max Gawn.

That decision raised eyebrows, considering Hickey had been in impressive form before his hamstring strain and the success West Coast had with two ruckmen against Gawn last time round, albeit with the now-departed Scott Lycett rather than Hickey.

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Schofield struggled in last week’s win over St Kilda while manning Saints spearhead Josh Bruce, who took seven contested marks.

On Thusday, the Eagles confirmed exciting forward Willie Rioli would play his first game of the season at the expense of Jake Waterman.

The Demons lost Jake Melksham (foot), Michael Hibberd (collarbone) and Jordan Lewis (ankle) to injury, while they also dropped Declan Keilty.

Oskar Baker will make his AFL debut, while Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith and Harrison Petty also return to the side.

West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium, 6.10pm AWST

LATE CHANGES
West Coast: Will Schofield (general soreness) replaced by Tom Hickey
Melbourne: Nil

FINAL INTERCHANGES
West Coast: Dom Sheed, Jack Petruccelle, Tom Cole, Willie Rioli
Melbourne: James Harmes, Billy Stretch, Alex Neal-Bullen, Bayley Fritsch

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS