Jack replaces him in Sydney’s 22 in the only change made to the side that was beaten by Port Adelaide last weekend. That means coach John Longmire has chosen to persist with rookie Hayden McLean in the ruck against arguably the AFL’s most dominant big man, Max Gawn.
The Swans are unlikely to retain Jack, 32, next season and it would not surprise if he followed the lead of Jarrad McVeigh, Nick Smith and Heath Grundy by announcing his retirement from the AFL in the coming days.
That would facilitate a blockbuster farewell clash next Saturday afternoon at the SCG for the champion quartet, while it could also double as Lance Franklin’s 300th match if the superstar forward continues to train strongly in his comeback from a hamstring injury.
Friday’s clash with Melbourne looms as a rather dull affair between two teams who have long been out of finals contention, raising debate about whether the AFL should extend the floating fixture that applies to round 23 to also cover multiple rounds, so that prime-time slots are not wasted in future.
“I can certainly see why it would be something that they would look at,” Demons coach Simon Goodwin said.
Longmire insisted the Swans still have plenty to play for. “We’re absolutely about trying to win,” he said. “It’s not just about exposing players to AFL footy, it’s about making sure we play the right style of footy and a really competitive brand, and that’s what we intend to do.”