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Melbourne Football Club

Hogan named in starting 18

MELBOURNE has named Jesse Hogan in its starting 18 for Sunday’s clash against Hawthorn at the MCG.

The Demons have also added speedster Billy Stretch, long-kicking left-footer Dean Kent and rebounder Josh Wagner to their squad.

They have been named on the extended bench, along with the silky-skilled Christian Salem, ball-winner Dom Tyson, utility Alex Neal-Bullen and backman Oscar McDonald.

At this stage, Melbourne has made one change, with defender Jake Melksham omitted. It will be the first match he misses this season.

Hogan is back in the side after he missed round six due to the sad passing of his father, Tony.

It will be the key forward’s fourth match this season, after he was suspended for rounds three and four.

Wagner is in the mix to play his first game for 2017, after an injured-riddled start to the year.

He played in Melbourne’s first JLT Community Series match of the pre-season, but suffered a fractured fibula and missed the next five weeks. Wagner made his return via the VFL and played two practice matches for Casey, before he injured his thumb and missed two more weeks.

But he returned for Casey against Geelong at Simonds Stadium last Saturday and impressed with 21 disposals.

Stretch played the first five games of the season, before being an emergency last round.

And Kent, who battled a back injury in the pre-season, has made two appearances this season in rounds three and four.

The 3.20pm match will be four-time premiership player Jordan Lewis’ first game against his former side Hawthorn.

Melbourne squad: round seven

B: Michael Hibberd, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta

HB: Jayden Hunt, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis

C: Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver, Tom Bugg

HF: Christian Petracca, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan

F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Jay Kennedy-Harris

Foll: Cam Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney

I/C (from): Christian Salem, Dom Tyson, Billy Stretch, Dean Kent, Alex Neal-Bullen, Oscar McDonald, Josh Wagner

In: Hogan, Stretch, Kent, Wagner

Out: Jake Melksham