Jack Ginnivan has joined Collingwood teammate Billy Frampton in timing their selection runs perfectly and earning AFL grand final recalls.
Ginnivan will replace Patrick Lipinski in the Magpies’ starting lineup on Saturday against Brisbane at the MCG.
Lipinski will swap roles with Ginnivan and be their sub, while coach Craig McRae confirmed on Wednesday that Frampton will replace injured forward Dan McStay.
Jack Payne was confirmed as the Lions’ hard-luck grand final selection call – their unchanged team means he failed to overcome the ankle injury that forced him out of their preliminary final win over Carlton.
Payne had been a mainstay in defence this season, playing 23 games, but fellow tall backman Darcy Gardiner returned for his third senior game in 2023 and impressed on Coleman Medallist Charlie Curnow.
Payne was named as an emergency.
There is also heartache at Collingwood, with McStay ruled out because of the knee injury he suffered in the preliminary final win over GWS.
Midfielder Taylor Adams had a setback at Tuesday training as he recovers from a hamstring injury, also killing off his hopes of a grand final recall, while Lipinski is out of the 22 after starting in the qualifying and preliminary finals.
But Ginnivan and Frampton return to the 22 at the best-possible time.
Ginnivan missed the start of the season because of an illicit drugs ban and was dropped after round 12.
The small forward has only managed 13 senior games in 2023 and was the sub in the two finals.
Ginnivan and John Noble were left out of Collingwood’s 22 for the qualifying final against Melbourne and Noble remains an emergency.
This will be Frampton’s first final after he was traded from Adelaide after last season for a third-round draft pick.
The tall utility played 24 games over five seasons at the two SA teams, but has been in the Collingwood lineup 15 times this year.
Temperatures in the high 20s are forecast for Saturday and Collingwood are banking on Lipinski’s fresh legs having an impact later in the game.
“Pat’s elite running ability will no doubt inject energy into the game and we look forward to seeing him make an impact on Saturday,” Magpies football boss Graham Wright said in a statement.
Adams’ season ending prematurely for a second consecutive year because of injury has been tough for the Magpies.
“It’s really challenging,” defender Jeremy Howe told the Nine Network.
“He’s one of our spiritual leaders the way that he acts on-field.
“Especially at this time of year, he seems to thrive when the games get really hard and ultra-competitive. That’s generally what he does best.
“… It’s really hard to see him get his body through the whole season and unfortunately just not quite be able to finish it off for the last game of the year.”
Adams was replaced for the preliminary final by Nick Daicos, who returned successfully after seven weeks out with a knee fracture.
Howe added Frampton had “put a mountain of work in” to prepare for his shot at his first final.
Brisbane, whose flight arrived late in Melbourne on Thursday afternoon due to weather conditions, will have Jarryd Lyons as their sub.
Collingwood’s side will feature nine players who were part of their 2018 grand final loss to West Coast – Brayden Maynard, Jack Crisp, Jeremy Howe, Scott Pendlebury, Brody Mihocek, Jordan De Goey, Mason Cox, Steele Sidebottom and Will Hoskin-Elliott.
Magpies onballer Tom Mitchell also played in Sydney’s grand final loss to the Western Bulldogs, while Brisbane’s Josh Dunkley was in the winning Bulldogs lineup.
Brisbane’s two-time Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale was the sub for Fremantle’s 2013 grand final loss to Hawthorn and Charlie Cameron played in Adelaide’s 2017 grand final loss to Richmond.
Dunkley also played in the Bulldogs’ 2021 grand final loss to Melbourne.