Co-tenants East Perth and Subiaco made sweeping changes for their top-of-the-table clash at Medibank Stadium today and South Fremantle picked one of the best underage players in the country to make his debut.
The final make-up of the Royals side won't be known until today, with some West Coast squad members a chance to fly back from Adelaide after missing selection for today's game at Adelaide Oval.
Simon Tunbridge, Jacob Brennan and Callum Sinclair were named as emergencies for the Eagles and could yet line up for East Perth, whose last loss was against the Lions (24 points) in round five. Subiaco recalled brothers Chris and Josh Deluca, Abe Davey, Bill Fetherstonhaugh and promoted emerging defender Declan Jackson to line up in his first league game.
The Bulldogs included State under-18 star Jarrod Pickett for his first league game in the cauldron-like atmosphere of a derby at East Fremantle Oval.
Pickett is highly likely to be the first West Australian selected at November's AFL national draft, and a top-10 pick overall, with his rare combination of speed and skill placing him among the best three midfielders in this year's pool.
The 179cm, 74kg livewire struggled for consistency at this year's under-18 championships, but a 21-disposal, three-goal performance against South Australia in June sent his stocks soaring.
He has played two games in the Bulldogs reserves since the end of the championships, averaging 20 disposals and kicking three goals.
Full-forward Ben Saunders has also been named for South Fremantle after overcoming a back injury he picked up during last week's loss to Subiaco.
Saunders sits second behind Lions forward Matt Boland (44 majors) on the goal kicking tally this year with 40 majors.
He has proved a handful for East Fremantle's usually stingy defence in the past, kicking 16 goals in six meetings since joining the Bulldogs from Claremont in 2012.
The Sharks have made just one change, recalling Tom Hooker in place Jordan Dorotich, who was concussed after colliding with a teammate last week.
West Perth, whose premiership defence is all but over, have promoted Luke Meadows at the expense of Drew Rohde for their game against Swan Districts at HBF Arena.
Seventeen Fremantle squad members were included in Peel's team to play Perth, who lost Jarryd Morton to a quad injury.
- LADDER * P W L D For Agst % Pts EAST PERTH 15 13 2 0 1434 1049 136.7 52 SUBIACO 16 12 4 0 1668 1277 130.6 48 SWAN DISTS 16 12 4 0 1513 1305 115.9 48 EAST FREM 16 10 6 0 1321 1312 100.7 40 Claremont 16 7 9 0 1116 1416 78.8 28 West Perth 15 6 9 0 1218 1163 104.7 24 South Frem 15 4 11 0 1207 1420 85.0 16 Perth 16 3 13 0 1357 1611 84.2 12 Peel 15 3 12 0 1050 1331 78.9 12