We're a third of the way into the 2022 AFL season, with contenders and pretenders now more noticeable after the opening seven rounds of the year.

Ahead of Round 8, we take a look at all the selection news, with big names needing to prove their fitness while fringe players hope to retain their place in their respective side's best 22.

For all listed injuries, visit our INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS page.

Bombers latest to be monitoring illness within playing group

Essendon are the latest club to be sweating on the fitness of key players this week due to illness, with Ben Rutten potentially being forced into late changes for Saturday night's clash with rivals Hawthorn.

Recent days have seen Victorian club - including Richmond and Carlton - required to make changes to their squads due to non-COVID illnesses, with The Herald Sun reporting the Bombers could be the next casualty.

Essendon are likely to confirm any last changes at 6:25pm Saturday - an hour before their match at Marvel Stadium commences.

The club currently has Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, Brayden Ham, Kaine Baldwin and Aaron Francis listed as emergencies for the Round 8 match.

The Bombers currently sit in 16th on the ladder with just one win from their opening seven rounds.

Cats tipped to swing late swap

Geelong ruckman Rhys Stanley is anticipated to be a late out for the Cats ahead of their clash with the Giants on Saturday afternoon.

Stanley suffered an ankle injury in last week's loss to Fremantle, with SEN's Sam Edmund reporting the former Saint hasn't made the venture to Canberra with his teammates.

"Rhys Stanley hasn’t made the trip there, so watch for a late change, he hasn’t made the trip to Canberra,” Edmund told SEN on Saturday.

“So look to Mark Blicavs I suppose to fill the void there.”

Young forward Oliver Dempsey, uncapped midfielder Mitch Knevitt, defender Zach Guthrie and tall Esava Ratugolea are listed as emergencies for Geelong.

The Cats are scheduled to face the Giants at Manuka Oval at 4:35pm AEST.

Blues confirm late change ahead of Sunday Crows clash

Carlton will be without defender Lachie Plowman for Sunday's clash with Adelaide after the backman was sidelined with an illness.

The Blues confirmed on Saturday that Plowman has been removed from Micahel Voss' 22-man side, with Jordan Boyd named in his place.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Lachie Plowman of the Blues handballs away from Daniel Rich of the Lions during the round 11 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on June 4, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Boyd's inclusion will see Will Setterfield named as an emergency, with Matthew Cottrell, Paddy Dow and Jesse Motlop also on standby and in line for a spot as the Blues' medical substitute.

Carlton have welcomed back Zac Williams from injury this week, while Liam Stocker and Cottrell were the listed outs.

Friday, May 6...

Tiger duo to miss

Dion Prestia and Nick Vlastuin are both set to miss Saturday afternoon's clash against Collingwood due to illness.

Richmond have confirmed that the pair aren't in the AFL's health and safety protocols.

Rhyan Mansell and Marlion Pickett have replaced the two, with Jake Aarts and Will Martyn named as emergencies.

Farrell enters health and safety protocols 

Young Power midfielder/forward Kane Farrell will miss Friday night's clash against the Western Bulldogs after entering health and safety protocols on Thursday.

The 23-year-old has been replaced in the selected side by Xavier Duursma, with Martin Frederick named as an emergency.

Milestone Hawk in doubt for Essendon clash

Chad Wingard is in doubt to run out in his would be 200th game this Saturday night against Essendon after falling ill.

The 28-year-old has tested negative to Covid-19 but is reportedly set to miss Hawthorn's captain's run on Friday.

The former Port Adelaide player has managed five games so far this season after an off-season littered with ankle, hamstring and calf issues.

Thursday, May 5...

Sun to end 1,379-day drought with selection return

The Gold Coast Suns will welcome Rory Thomspon back into the senior fold for the 31-year-old's first game since 2018.

Thompson has suffered two ACL injuries since his last outing in Round 19, 2018, both of which required lengthy rehabbing.

He will return to the senior side for his 104th AFL match, 1379 days after his 103rd.

Coach Stuart Dew lauded Thompson, who has shown exceptional resilience to return to the top level.

“An ACL injury is one of the most devastating in our sport, and to be able to come back from not just one, but two ACL recoveries is a tremendous achievement and a credit to the hard work Rory has put in behind the scenes,” Dew said.

“We’re rapt to have him back in the side for what will be a proud moment for Rory, his family and our football club.”

The Suns play Sydney at the SCG on Saturday afternoon as they look to gain some ground on the top eight.

Bombers pair in doubt

Essendon's abysmal start to 2022 doesn’t look to be getting any better, with ruck Sam Draper and wingman Nik Cox in doubt ahead of Saturday night’s clash with the Hawks.

Draper was absent from training on Thursday with illness, while an injury to Cox’s ankle, which saw him subbed out of last weekend’s loss to the Bulldogs, meant he was training away from the main group.

Jake Stringer has already been ruled out and will miss the next three-to-four weeks with a hamstring problem, while Harry Jones is unlikely after being kept out of last week’s VFL contest as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

Ben Rutten told reporters today that maligned midfielder Dylan Shiel is likely to regain his place in the starting 22 at Tullamarine

Port forward no certainty, debutant on standby  

Port Adelaide forward Mitch Georgiades will need to prove his fitness ahead of Friday night's fixture against the Bulldogs, with uncapped youngster Ollie Lord a likely inclusion should Georgiades be ruled out of the Adelaide Oval affair.

Georgiades is currently battling a calf injury, with recent scans still showing some concern for the emerging spearhead's prospects of playing in Round 8.

“We got a scan back that showed some signals so the reality is that we need to get through captains run,” Power senior coach Ken Hinkley told media on Thursday.

“We are hopeful but not certain.”

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Mitch Georgiades of the Power is congratulated by team mates after kicking a goal during the round 12 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Port Adelaide Power at Metricon Stadium on August 14, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

If Georgiades fails to be deemed fit, Lord firms as his likely replacement in the Power's attack, according to The Advertiser. 

Lord joined the Power as the 49th overall selection in the 2020 National Draft.

West Coast COVID headaches continue

COVID drama has again hit the Eagles, with West Coast needing as many as four top-up players in order to field a team against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday.

Luke Shuey and Willie Rioli have been ruled out with hamstring issues, while Alex Witherden, Jackson Nelson and Greg Clark have all entered health and safety protocols.

Coach Adam Simpson is also in protocols, with his duties to be overseen by assistant and ex-Essendon senior coach, Matthew Knights.

Journalist Ryan Daniels reported that South Fremantle midfielder Jake Florenca will be one top-up player required by the Eagles, while AFL players Brady Hough and Tom Barrass will likely return.

Due to the sheer number of listed players either injured or in health and safety protocols, the Eagles’ WAFL team has had to postpone its match against East Fremantle.

Magpies still wrestling with flu, young tall holds spot

Collingwood coach Craig McRae has revealed his side is still battling "man flu" ahead of their clash with Richmond on Saturday, with 2-3 players in doubt for the weekend.

Magpies trio Jordan De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Callum Brown were eventually deemed fit for their clash with the Suns in Round 7 after a bout of gastro hindered several players.

The headaches have continued at the AIA Centre however, with Brayden Maynard, Nick Daicos, Taylor Adams and Reef McInnes absent from training on Thursday.

"We've got the man flu still going on," McRae said.

Nick Daicos during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between St Kilda and Collingwood (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"It's gone through us last week. There was a little bit of carryover this week."

McRae confirmed that young ruck-forward Aiden Begg will retain his spot in the 22-man side after making his debut against Gold Coast.

The 2021 Mid-Season Draft recruit will likely continue to work in tandem with second-string ruckman Darcy Cameron in Saturday's match at the MCG.

Dusty set for blockbuster return

Richmond will welcome back superstar Dustin Martin against Collingwood on Saturday, after the three-time Norm Smith Medallist successfully completed a two-week block of training.

Damien Hardwick told reporters that Martin would only need to make it through Thursday training to be named in the senior side, saying he was looking forward to welcoming the champion back.

Martin has not played since round one, when he took personal leave. Veterans Trent Cotchin and Robbie Tarrant are also likely to return after being managed, while Dion Prestia is "doubtful" after being subbed out of the Tigers' drubbing of West Coast.

Wingman Marlion Pickett is also in the frame after recovering from a hamstring issue suffered against Adelaide.

Hardwick also confirmed that Jayden Short would likely continue in his midfield role that saw him star last week, collecting a game-high 31 disposals.

Injury plagued midfielder Dion Prestia is "doubtful" to play on Saturday afternoon according to Hardwick with the star battling an array of issues. "His ankle and his Achilles and his lower calf as well, obviously all linked," the club said earlier this week.

Wednesday, May 4...

Danger back, but Scott forced into changes

Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield will make his return from a calf injury in Saturday's clash with the Giants in Canberra.

Dangerfield has missed the past two matches with the setback, with senior coach Chris Scott confirming the veteran's inclusion in a media conference midweek.

Scott was unable to guarantee the selection of ruckman Rhys Stanley, who suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's loss to Fremantle.

Second-string ruckman Esava Ratugolea has been deemed available for selection after recovering from his own ankle injury.

The Cats will need to replace young wingman Max Holmes, who has required surgery on a syndesmosis injury.

Midfielder Quinton Narkle could come into the frame after being deemed fit to feature for Round 8.

Suns to make switch down back

Gold Coast look set to be bolstered by the return of emerging young defender Wil Powell, who trained strongly on Wednesday and took part in defensive team drills according to afl.com.au.

Powell injured his hamstring in the QClash against Brisbane in round six, however, he appears likely to line up for the Suns and would be a welcome return to the defensive unit for Stuart Dew.

However, fellow small defender Conor Budarick is doubtful for this weekend’s clash against the Swans after suffering an ankle injury against the Pies last weekend.

AFL Rd 12 - Richmond v Gold Coast
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 17: Connor Budarick of the Suns is seen warming up during the round 12 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Gold Coast Suns at The Gabba on August 17, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Budarick failed to train on Wednesday, but the club will monitor his training later this week before making a final decision.

"He's probably a little bit off," Dew said.

"It'll just be checking in on where his swelling is at and can we get that to a level where he can train?"

Bomber a test, more forwards face setbacks

Bombers’ youngster Nik Cox is a “genuine test” for this week after suffering another ankle injury in the Dons’ loss to the Bulldogs according to Head of High Performance Sean Murphy.

Cox was subbed out during the Round 7 clash but remains a chance to play against the Hawks’ this weekend.

“’Coxy’ jarred that ankle in the second quarter. It’s the same side he had previously, but a different feeling in the ankle,” Murphy told essendonfc.com.au.

“We’ll give him every chance to be available.”

Essendon Bombers Media Opportunity & Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Nik Cox of the Bombers in action during an Essendon Bombers AFL media opportunity at The Hangar on January 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Devon Smith has suffered a knee setback, with the midfielder-forward set to be out for the next 2-4 weeks after suffering “knee pain and swelling”.

The Bombers are expecting both Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (H&S Protocols) and Aaron Francis (Illness) to return to training, after also missing last week’s VFL match, while Tex Wanganeen (ankle) and Andrew Phillips (hamstring) remain tests for this week.

Young tall Harrison Jones is another one that could return before the Round 12 bye, but Murphy said the club will be cautious with his return.

Essendon has also ruled out a pre-bye return for midfielder Kyle Langford as he recovers from a long-term hamstring injury that he suffered early into the Dons’ Round 1 clash against Geelong.

English a chance to face Power

Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English could make his return from a hamstring injury on Friday night as the Dogs prepare for their trip to South Australia.

English has missed the past two games due to the setback, with this week's affair against Port Adelaide a potential comeback game for ruckman.

Both English and defender Alex Keath have made important steps in their respective hamstring recoveries in the past week.

“Tim and Alex are progressing well from their hamstring injuries,” Bulldogs sports medicine boss Chris Bell said, via the club's website.

Both completed a game-like rehab session over the weekend.

“They still have to tick some boxes this week before we confirm if they play this weekend against Port or next weekend against the Pies.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Ryan Gardner, Alex Keath and Stefan Martin of the Bulldogs in action during the Western Bulldogs training session at Optus Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Bulldogs are yet to rule out forward Mitch Wallis for their Round 8 fixture, with a foot injury forcing the Dogs veteran to be substituted out of Sunday's win over Essendon.

“Mitch has damaged a joint in his foot,” Head of Sports Medicine, Chris Bell said.

“We will work through a process of how to best manage Mitch over the next few days before confirming if he is available to play.”

Dockers confirm debut as club sweats on more COVID blows 

Fremantle will hand first-year forward Jye Amiss a debut for Friday night's clash with North Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

The Dockers will be without Rory Lobb, Blake Acres, Travis Colyer, Lloyd Meek and Griffin Logue due to AFL health and safety protocols.

"At this stage Griffin Logue will join the three in the health and safety protocols. Michael Frederick and Lloyd Meek as well. We've got six out, but we're pretty confident that's all," Longmuir said on Wednesday.

The absences have opened up an opportunity for Amiss, who has found strong form for Peel Thunder in recent weeks.

The Dockers are also set to welcome the returns of Hayden Young and Heath Chapman from COVID protocols, while first-string ruckman Sean Darcy is a likely chance to make his return from concussion.

Star Blues no certainty to return

Carlton duo George Hewett and Zac Williams both remain tests ahead of the Blues' bout with Adelaide on Sunday.

Hewett was sidelined for his side's Round 7 win over North Melbourne after suffering a corked calf, with ex-Swan needing to prove his fitness at training this week.

The news is similar for Williams, who was a late out for the Blues on the weekend after sustaining Achilles soreness.

The pair will both push for selection in the coming days as senior coach Michael Voss is forced to move his magnets.

Zac Williams- Carlton training. 21-1-21. Photo by Jake Benoiton

Young defender Liam Stocker will be sidelined for the next fortnight after suffering an AC joint injury, with the Blues likely to dive deeper into their defensive stocks should Williams not be fit to return.

Debutant Jack Carroll is likely to have done enough in his maiden performance in the navy blue to feature against the Crows this week.

Pies pair deemed fit for Round 8 

Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard looks to have avoided any serious damage to his hand after requiring scans on a sore thumb this week.

Maynard sustained the injury late into the Magpies' win over the Suns on Sunday, with the club have since deemed their backman fit to face Richmond in Round 8.

Fellow defender  Nathan Murphy has also been cleared to play after recuperating from an ankle injury sustained in the pre-season.

Murphy is unlikely to feature for Craig McRae's side against the Tigers, and will look toward next week given the magpies' reserves have a bye this weekend.

Tuesday, May 3...

Jake Stringer set for month on sideline

Star Essendon Bombers' forward Jake Stringer is set to spend between three and four weeks on the sideline after scans confirmed a strained hamstring.

Stringer has been in and out of the Bombers' side with the injury over the first seven weeks of the season, managing just four games.

Scans confirmed he will now need three to four weeks to recover from the injury as Essendon desperately attempt to improve on their one and six start to the 2022 campaign.

"Scans today have confirmed the strain is to his right hamstring, which is the different side to his previous hamstring injury,” Essendon general manager of football Josh Mahoney said in a club statement.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 08: Jake Stringer of the Bombers celebrates during the 2018 AFL round 16 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 08, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

“This is a reasonably standard 3-4 week injury, and Jake will use this time on the sidelines to ensure a full recovery to return for a strong second half of the season.”

Hawks young guns to remain sidelined

Hawthorn have confirmed forward Mitch Lewis and defender Changkuoth Jiath won't be available for Saturday night's affair with Essendon.

Lewis has had his sideline stint delayed due to a non-COVID related illness after suffering a hamstring injury against Geelong in Round 6, while Jiath continues to nurse a hamstring injury.

In brighter news for Hawthorn, Conor Nash has avoided serious injury after hampering his quad in the final quarter against Melbourne on the weekend. The Irishman will remain a Test for this week.

Midfielder Tom Phillips will miss up to eight weeks after requiring ankle surgery, while ruck pair Ben McEvoy (neck) and Ned Reeves (shoulder) remain sidelined indefinitely.

Swans to regain trio for Suns clash

Sydney is confident in regaining an important trio for Saturday afternoon's clash against Gold Coast, with Paddy McCartin, Logan McDonald and Tom Hickey all expected to return from injury.

"Paddy and Logan are absolutely right in that (selection) frame," Swans coach John Longmire said to media on Tuesday.

"They trained today, we expect them to train again on Thursday and be available."

McCartin and McDonald both sat out Round 7's loss to Brisbane due to concussion protocols.

On Hickey, Longmire remained optimistic too, indicating that the ruckman would be available for selection come Thursday after injuring his knee in Round 3.

"He is a strong chance as well," Longmire said.

"Whilst he is not quite over the line, he has done everything and more that has been asked of him.

"So we wouldn't be surprised if come Thursday he is available."

Eagles duo in isolation, stars no certainty to return

West Coast defenders Alex Witherden and Jackson Nelson will miss Saturday's clash with the Lions through the AFL's health and safety protocols.

The pair of absences compounds the list woes for Adam Simpson, who has faced an onslaught of ailments to start this season.

Adding to the club's casualty ward are forward duo Willie Rioli (hamstring) and Zac Langdon (ankle), as well as midfielder Xavier O'Neill (knee), who are all currently requiring further assessments ahead of Round 8.

Midfielder Elliot Yeo is no certainty to return from a concussion sustained in Round 6 against Port Adelaide, while defender Tom Barrass will need to prove his fitness after being a late out against Richmond with a hamstring complaint.

The list of setbacks could see Simpson rely on top-up players once again, with Aaron Black (West Perth), Brayden Ainsworth (Perth), Declan Mountford, Angus Dewar (Subiaco) and Stefan Giro (Subiaco) having already been utilised this season.

The extent of their injuries will be revealed later in the week as the club undergoes a scheduled medical staff meeting on Tuesday.

Monday, May 2...

Freo trio to miss Roos meeting

Fremantle trio Rory Lobb, Blake Acres and Travis Colyer are understood to be the latest Dockers forced into the AFL's health and safety protocols, with the ex-Giant, onballer and half-forward anticipated to miss Friday's match against North Melbourne.

According to 7 News Perth's Ryan Daniels, Acres and Colyer will join Lobb in being ruled out of the match at Optus Stadium in what is the latest blow for the Dockers.

Fremantle have seen key figures sidelined due to COVID protocols, with young defensive pair Hayden Young and Heath Chapman having missed the past two rounds under the guidelines.

Lachie Schultz, Matthew JohnsonLiam Henry and Connor Blakely were also required to isolate in recent weeks, as well as senior coach Justin Longmuir and assistants Josh Carr and Matthew Boyd.

The Dockers will enter their Round 8 bout with the Roos heavily favoured, having claimed four premiership points against Geelong at Kardinia Park on Saturday without key forward Matt Taberner and ruckman Sean Darcy.

The duo are a chance to feature in Round 8, looking to return from hamstring and concussions setbacks respectively, while Chapman and Young should be available after narrowly falling short of selection last week.

Kangaroos set to wrung changes

Struggling North Melbourne will be forced to make a series of changes to their squad as they travel to Fremantle in Round 8. Suspensions and injuries rule out a few key players, while few others look likely to return from injury.

According to AFL.com.au, key defender Aidan Corr is expected to make his return after recovering from illness earlier in the week. Corr was accidentally listed as a late withdrawal during last week’s match against Carlton due to the AFL’s health and safety protocols, but was not suffering from a COVID related illness.

Corr will now be available to travel with the squad to face the Dockers this week.

Experienced midfielder Jed Anderson is likely to make his long-awaited return after suffering heart complications. The ball-winner played two VFL games in the last three weeks, highlighting his improved fitness levels as he looks ready to get back into first-team action.

AFL Rd 2 - GWS v North Melbourne
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 14: Jed Anderson of the Kangaroos looks to pass during the round 2 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at GIANTS Stadium on June 14, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Youngsters Will Phillips and Tom Powell have had their names circulating for selection but may still face some extended weeks playing in the reserves.

Defender Ben McKay will also travel with the team to make his return after undergoing a one-match suspension.

Leading goalscorer Nick Larkey will be forced to miss out on the match after picking up a one-match suspension for tunnelling Carlton defender Lewis Young while going for a mark.

Forward Charlie Comben was looking set to make his comeback and would have likely been Larkey’s replacement, but is unlikely to travel with the team after missing last week’s VFL clash with Carlton due to knee soreness.

Last week’s debutant Miller Bergman sustained a shoulder injury in the first half against Carlton. He was taken into the rooms and was later substituted, he will not travel with the team next week.

Star midfielder Tarryn Thomas is also in doubt after undergoing scans to determine the extent of a sustained hamstring injury.

Giants make statement in VFL win, forward boots nine

A few reserve Giants are putting up their hand for first-team selection after an impressive 110-point victory against the Northern Bullants on Sunday.

Key Forward Jake Riccardi kicked an incredible nine goals with 23 disposals, putting up a performance which will not go unnoticed for the GWS selection team.

Midfielder Tanner Bruhn also looked lively with 31 disposals and a goal, while James Peatling put in a solid shift himself with 30 disposals to his name

Zach Sproule also put up a solid performance, kicking a bag of three goals while managing 15 disposals.

With no injuries coming in the Giants' dominant display against Adelaide on Saturday afternoon, spots in Leon Cameron's side may be hard to come by.

Crows lose pair through concussion

The Crows are set to be without duo Brodie Smith and Ned McHenry for their clash with Carlton on Sunday, with the pair entering mandatory 12-day concussions protocols.

Smith was up and moving around in the rooms after landing awkwardly in a marking contest during the third quarter of the Crow’s loss to GWS. Smith was taken from the ground after sustaining the injury and took no further part in the game. Adelaide’s High.

Performance Manager Darren Burgess provided an update on Smith’s injury after the match.

“Brodie was up and walking and communicating in the rooms shortly after the incident which is pleasing, but he will now be subject to the AFL’s concussion protocols,” Burgess said.

McHenry also received treatment after sustaining a cut to his head after a collision. He was taken from the ground and did not return to participate in the game after going down to the rooms.

While no statements have been made by Adelaide, multiple reports have suggested the young Crow will join Smith under concussion protocols.

Henry bags seven in VFL win 

Emerging Collingwood forward Ollie Henry did his Round 8 selection hopes no harm on the weekend, booting seven goals in the Magpies' win over Coburg.

The 19-year-old was among the best performers in the 104-point win over the Lions, having also added 17 disposals and 10 marks to the stat sheet.

The dominant outing is sure to have placed Henry back into Craig McRae's selection frame, however spots will be hard to come by after Collingwood's 25-point win over the Suns on Sunday.

AFL Practice Match - Geelong v Collingwood
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Oliver Henry of the Magpies marks the ball during the AFL Practice Match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at GMHBA Stadium on February 26, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The Magpies amassed no injuries in the victory, while the side recorded 10 separate goalkickers for the day in what was a steady performance.

Tall Mason Cox also had a major hand in the goals for the Magpies' reserves, booting three goals, while draftee Cooper Murley also recorded multiple majors with two.

Cox is unlikely to gain a reprieve into McRae's side after ruck-forward pair Darcy Cameron and debutant Aiden Begg impressed in Round 7.