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AFL finals 2020: Will Collingwood’s Twin Towers approach pay off against West Coast?

Collingwood will pair 2m-plus giants Mason Cox and Darcy Cameron in the forward line for just the third time, as they attempt to stretch West Coast’s defence to breaking point tonight.

The Magpies dropped Travis Varcoe and Tyler Brown to recall WA pair Cameron and Chris Mayne for the elimination final at Optus Stadium, returning to a three-pronged tall forward set-up as Cameron joins Cox and Brody Mihocek.

With versatile Eagles defender Josh Rotham (heel) left out after playing the past eight games, coach Nathan Buckley’s gamble on height will force either Shannon Hurn or Brad Sheppard to play tall.

It could even tempt West Coast into considering a last-minute recall for veteran defender Will Schofield, who was dropped to allow for the return of Jeremy McGovern.

Cameron and Mayne will both play for the first time since round 14.

Claremont product Cameron was a dominant figure early in the round eight meeting between the teams, kicking two first-quarter goals before fading as the Eagles won by 66 points.

Mayne has recovered from a fractured cheekbone suffered in a collision with Carlton’s Patrick Cripps.

The 31-year-old former Fremantle forward is chasing an elusive premiership after experiencing grand final defeats with the Dockers in 2013 and the Magpies in 2018.

Darcy Cameron is a big inclusion for Collingwood.
Camera IconDarcy Cameron is a big inclusion for Collingwood. Credit: Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

“He’s a desperate and hungry individual within our squad. He wants to be a part of team success and has left no stone unturned to be a part of that,” Buckley said.

“And we’ve witnessed that in the last two or three weeks overcoming this particular injury.”

Buckley said the ruck showdown between Brodie Grundy and Nic Naitanui, who took Grundy’s All-Australian spot this year, would be a great sideshow.

“I’m looking forward to seeing that. I’m pretty sure everyone else is,” he said.

“I’ve got great respect for Nic Naitanui and what he’s been able to do. And his season this year justifies him as the All-Australian ruckman.

“Our boy’s a ripper. We couldn’t love him any more. He’s heart and soul, All-Australian ruckman from last year. So the two boys will go to town on each other and I’m looking forward to the contest.”

Grundy, who will play his 150th game, said he would focus on his own game rather than dwelling on combating Naitanui.

“Obviously he’s a unique player and I think I’m just going to have to bring my strengths to the table,” he told the club website.

“I’m a unique player as well, albeit in a different facet, so I need to make sure that I bring that.”

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