UPDATE: Listed emergency Alana Woodward has been brought into the starting line-up in place of Molly McDonald (AFL Health and Safety Protocols). Tahlia Meyer comes in as an emergency.

St Kilda will unveil three debutants ahead of tomorrow night’s much-anticipated season opener at SkyBus Stadium against Richmond.

South Australian ruck Leah Cutting and Southern Saints half-back Lucy Burke have been given the nod by new coach Nick Dal Santo to make their mark on the big stage, while listed emergency Alana Woodward has been brought into the line-up after Molly McDonald was withdrawn as part of the AFL Health and Safety Protocols.

The 29-year-old Cutting earns her shot after joining the club as a free agent signing during last year’s Sign & Trade Period. Despite a decorated resumé complete with SANFLW Team of the Year, co-captaincy and Premiership honours, Cutting was overlooked in previous drafts before finding her new home at RSEA Park.

Burke, meanwhile, was added to St Kilda’s primary list less than two months ago as an injury replacement player for Paige Price (hip). Her maiden VFLW season at the Southern Saints yielded a place in the VFLW Team of the Year and a top-10 finish at the club’s Best & Fairest.

Cutting and Burke will be flanked by club debutant Woodward, who played five games for Richmond before signing on with St Kilda as a delisted free agent.

Co-vice-captain Kate Shierlaw and forward/midfielder Nicola Xenos will be unavailable for Friday night’s match due to AFL Health and Safety Protocols alongside McDonald, while Olivia Vesely will line up for her first senior game since Round 6, 2020.

Ella Friend and Tahlia Meyer have been named as emergencies.

St Kilda will kick off the 2022 NAB AFLW Season on Friday 7 January, with the opening bounce at SkyBus Stadium set for 7:15pm.

NEW: L. Burke, Cutting, Woodward
OUT: McDonald (late withdrawal, AFL Health and Safety Protocols)



Tilly Lucas-Rodd Rebecca Ott  


Bianca Jakobsson Jayde Van Dyk Hannah Priest


Alana Woodward Tarni White Cat Phillips


Darcy Guttridge Isabella Shannon Kate McCarthy


  Caitlin Greiser Jacqui Vogt


Rhi Watt Olivia Vesely Rosie Dillon


Jessica Matin Lucy Burke Alice Burke
  Renee Saulitis Leah Cutting  


Ella Friend Tahlia Meyer  
01:00 Mins
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'This means the world to me': Cutting and Burke get the life-changing news

Watch as Nick Dal Santo tells Leah Cutting and Lucy Burke that they'll be debuting on Friday night against Richmond.

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