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Changes at Hawthorn too for big Geelong clash

James Sicily will fill a void in the Hawks' forwardline left vacant by the injury to Jarryd Roughead. Photo: AAP Image.
James Sicily will fill a void in the Hawks' forwardline left vacant by the injury to Jarryd Roughead. Photo: AAP Image.

WHILE all the talk has been about the new faces in the Geelong line-up, Hawthorn has been forced to undergo change as it begins its campaign to win a fourth-straight premiership.

The Hawks will have six players who were not part of the team that beat West Coast in last season's grand final in their line-up when they take on the Cats at the MCG today.

Brian Lake and David Hale (both retired) and Matthew Suckling (Bulldogs) are gone, while Jarryd Roughead (knee), Brad Hill (wrist) and Liam Shiels (wrist) are injured.

In has come James Sicily, Jonathon Ceglar, Billy Hartung, Jonathan O'Rourke, Angus Litherland and Will Langford.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson, whose team has also built a four-match winning streak over Geelong, said he welcomed the fresh faces.

"We're excited with the crop of players that are coming through. They just need some exposure to week in, week out footy at senior level now," Clarkson told reporters. "They'll have their ups and downs."

The Cats will officially unveil Patrick Dangerfield alongside skipper Joel Selwood, who plays his first match of the year.

"Whether he (Dangerfield) is in a Crows jumper or a Geelong jumper this time, he's a talented player," Clarkson said. "(But) we've got to be observant obviously of the talent he's got, but there's 21 of his mates that are also a pretty formidable unit."

Zac Smith (Gold Coast) and Lachie Henderson (Carlton) will also debut for Cats.

Topics:  afl alastair clarkson cats geelong hawks hawthorn patrick dangerfield