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Riewoldt to miss, four included in 25-man squad

Josh Gabelich  August 10, 2017 6:25 PM

AFL 2017 Round 12 - Adelaide v St Kilda

Will Sam Gilbert come into the final 22 to face Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday?

St Kilda will be forced to make at least one change to the 22 that beat West Coast last weekend, ahead of this Sunday’s must win game against Melbourne at the MCG.

Champion key forward Nick Riewoldt won’t face the Demons after he failed to recover in time from the head knock he received in the last quarter against the Eagles.

Veteran defender Sam Gilbert has overcome a hand injury and been named in the preliminary squad, which will be trimmed to a final 22 on Friday afternoon.

After a dominant best on ground performance for Sandringham last weekend, small forward Jack Lonie has also been included in the 25-man squad, along with ruckman Tom Hickey and athletic half-back-wingman Daniel McKenzie.

After a six-year hiatus from the most important month of the year, Alan Richardson’s men face arguably the most important game of his tenure on Sunday.

A win will keep St Kilda’s season alive and move them one step closer to September. A loss will all but end the Saints’ finals chances, meaning there is plenty on the line when the red, white and black return to home of football for the first time this season.

Both sides met in the opening round of the season after one of the most anticipated build ups in recent memory. But after an explosive start by St Kilda, Melbourne wrestled control of the game after quarter time and ran away with their first victory in 15 attempts.

After 20 rounds of 2017, the same margin separates the two sides as it did then. Both teams have banked 10 wins, but the Demons have a marginally better percentage to sit one spot above the Saints in 10th.

Off-season recruit Nathan Brown becomes the latest Saint to reach the 150-game milestone this weekend, when he adds his 20th appearance for St Kilda to the 130 games he played for Collingwood, including the 2010 premiership against his current club.

Round 21 Squad v Melbourne
Sunday August 13 at 1.10 pm
MCG

B: Jarryn Geary, Nathan Brown, Dylan Roberton
HB: Jack Newnes, Jake Carlisle, Jimmy Webster
C: Shane Savage, Luke Dunstan, Jack Billings
HF: Jack Steele, Josh Bruce, Maverick Weller
F: Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey, Jack Sinclair
R: Billy Longer, Seb Ross, Jack Steven
Interchange from: Tom Hickey, Blake Acres, Jack Lonie, Sam Gilbert, Koby Stevens, Brandon White, Daniel McKenzie

IN: S. Gilbert, T. Hickey, D. McKenzie, J. Lonie
OUT: N. Riewoldt (concussion)

Milestone: N. Brown – 150 games