AFL journeyman Andrew Phillips will get the chance to impress at his new club when he makes his Essendon debut in Friday night's clash with Collingwood.
Phillips is at his third club, having started with the Giants in 2012 before adding 27 more games at Carlton over the past four years.
The 201cm ruckman was traded to Essendon during the off-season, and he has been brought into the senior side to replace the rested Tom Bellchambers against the Magpies.
Phillips' 29th birthday present will be a ruck date with star Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy at the MCG.
Grundy is considered the premier ruckman in the competition, and Phillips will be aiming to at least break even when he makes his first appearance of 2020.
Former Kangaroos midfielder Mitch Hibberd will also make his Bombers debut, while Jayden Laverde is the other inclusion.
Star midfielder Zach Merrett will miss through suspension, while Aaron Francis was ruled out after suffering back spasms at training this week.
The Magpies made three changes, with the biggest out being Steele Sidebottom, who copped a four-match ban for his boozy COVID-19 protocol breach last weekend.
Jeremy Howe (knee surgery) and John Noble (omitted) are also out, but the return of Adam Treloar is a big plus.
Veteran Travis Varcoe and defender Matt Scharenberg have also been called up.
Essendon would have been a perfect 3-0 if it weren't for last week's upset one-point loss to Carlton.
Collingwood are eager to bounce back from their two-point loss to GWS.
Australian Associated Press