Geelong veteran Tom Hawkins has been given the go-ahead to face Collingwood on Friday night, while ex-Magpie Ollie Henry will line up against his former side for his Cats debut.

Hawkins has been in some doubt to make the Round 1 encounter after requiring foot surgery in the off-season, with the three-time premiership forward kept to limited opportunities on the training track.

The 34-year-old firms as a pivotal piece for Chris Scott's plans given fellow All-Australian forward Jeremy Cameron could miss the Collingwood clash for the birth of his first child.

Cameron could even depart the match mid-game should he be required to, offering further complications to Scott's forward line dilemma.

Confirming selection plans to the media on Thursday, Scott revealed Hawkins will pull on the boots after getting through his recovery unscathed.

While Cameron remains less certain, new recruit Ollie Henry will make his club debut after crossing from Collingwood through last year's trade period.

Fellow Cats recruit Tanner Bruhn has also been confirmed as an inclusion for the Round 1 side when Geelong open their premiership defence.

A calf complaint will keep former Sun Jack Bowes from appearing at the MCG on Friday night, while quartet Mitch Duncan (calf), Jake Kolodjashnij (concussion), Jack Henry (foot) and Sam Menegola (knee) have also been ruled out.

Both Duncan and Henry are expected to miss multiple weeks due to injury, with the latter's absence further opening the opportunity in defence for Esava Ratugolea.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Esava Ratugolea of the Cats and Marlion Pickett of the Tigers in action during the 2021 AFL Round 08 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 07, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Ratugolea spent his earliest years at Kardinia Park as a ruck-forward hybrid, however, has been trialled as a tall defender across the past 12 months.

After impressing in his first pre-season as a defensive option, Ratugolea will take on a role on Scott's last line against the Magpies.

Geelong will confirm their 22-man side at 6:20pm (AEDT) on Thursday, with their tactical sub to be named an hour prior to Friday's 7:40 start.