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Round 12 Team: Six changes and a debutant

Selection Insider: Round Twelve Director of Coaching & Development Danny Sexton takes us through St Kilda's team selection for our Round twelve match against Carlton.

St Kilda has made six changes ahead of Sunday’s clash with Carlton at Etihad Stadium, with untried ruckman Lewis Pierce set for a long awaited debut after landing at Linen House Centre at the end of 2012.

Alan Richardson was forced to make four changes due to injury, with Captain Nick Riewoldt (knee), Sean Dempster (knee), Hugh Goddard (Achilles) and Paddy McCartin all unavailable, while rebounding defender Brodie Murdoch and midfielder-forward Jack Billings were omitted.

After waiting three and a half seasons for an opportunity, 21-year-old ruckman Pierce has been named to make his maiden appearance against the Blues, following a month of strong form in the VFL.

Key defensive pair Tom Lee and Luke Delaney have also been recalled to replace Dempster and Goddard down back. Lee played two games earlier in the year, while Delaney hasn’t played in the senior setup since the middle of last season.

Tough utility Nathan Wright has forced his way into the Saints 22 for the first time this season on the back of strong form across half-forward and on a wing at Sandringham. The 22-year-old played five games last year and has 20 appearances to his name across three years at Linen House Centre.

Midfield pair Blake Acres and Darren Minchington are the other two inclusions for the Saints, working their way back into the senior side after spending the last month in the VFL.

West Australian wingman Acres has been in and out of Richardson’s side this year, playing five games across three different stints. In Round 6 he earned a Rising Star nomination after collecting a career-high 28 disposals and two goals against Melbourne.

After accumulating 29 possessions (18 contested), 12 clearances and five rebound 50s in Sandringham’s nail-biting two-point last Sunday, Minchington comes back into the senior fold for the first time since Round 7.

Axed pair Billings and Murdoch have both been named as emergencies, along with midfielder Jack Sinclair, who travelled to South Australia last week as an emergency but didn’t play.

Daniel McKenzie was a late withdrawal from last weekend’s game at Adelaide Oval due to an illness. He has recovered, but will return at VFL against Essendon on Sunday.

St Kilda faces an in-form Carlton outfit who have won six of their last seven games to sit 6-5 and just one game outside the top eight. The Blues have won the last four encounters between the two sides, including three at Etihad Stadium.

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Rd 12 Premiership Team
St Kilda v Carlton
Etihad Stadium
Sunday 12 June, 1.10pm

B: D. Roberton, T. Lee, J. Geary
HB: J. Newnes, L. Delaney, L. Montagna
C: S. Savage, D. Armitage, J. Webster
HF: M. Weller, J. Bruce, L. Dunstan
F: S. Gilbert, T. Membrey, J. Gresham
R: T. Hickey, S. Ross, J. Steven
Interchange from: B. Acres, N. Wright, D. Minchington, L. Pierce

IN: L. Delaney, T. Lee, N. Wright, B. Acres, D. Minchington, L. Pierce
OUT: N. Riewoldt (knee), S. Dempster (knee), P. McCartin (concussion), H. Goddard (achilles), J. Billings (omitted), B. Murdoch (omitted)

NEW: Lewis Pierce (Dandenong Stingrays/ Mt Eliza)

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