Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has again offered no certainties at selection for premiership pair Caleb Daniel and Jack Macrae.

While Daniel has played in all four of the Dogs' matches so far this season, the small-framed utility hasn't always been a certainty to feature in the senior side and was named as the club's tactical sub in their season opener against Melbourne.

Daniel was subbed out of last Saturday's loss to Geelong and would be replaced by another curious selection casualty in Macrae, who wouldn't be named for the club's opening two matches against the Demons and Suns due to an interrupted pre-season and further requirements from Beveridge.

Macrae put together a 46-disposal outing in his sole VFL outing to cement his return to AFL level the following week however the 29-year-old - as well as fellow All-Australian Daniel - remains a chance to feature at the state league level again this season.

Speaking on the latter, Beveridge said Daniel's role in the side each week is dependent on the team's needs and the club's opponent for the round.

"When we think about Caleb and what role he might play from week to week, he has been pretty adept in playing all over the ground over the journey," the Dogs coach told media on Thursday.

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"He's one of those players that doesn't necessarily settle in an area based on what your needs are as a group.

"I suppose the team needs have come before Caleb's to a degree, and that's always hard for a player to process and deal with. He's such a great character with great integrity, he'll always process things in accordance with what's best for the team.

"He will probably spend a bit of time at half-back. If he plays state league then maybe there's a period of time where he spends some time there. It just depends on who's playing well in different areas at AFL level and when he gets his claws into the competition again. We've got no doubt that will happen, but there's no need to do anything at the moment."

Selection and team-based "demand and supply" will also continue to impact Macrae, whose role this weekend will be known only after Friday night's clash with Essendon.

The Dogs will name their squad on Thursday, with an extended 23-man group meaning Macrae could again start as the tactical sub.

"Jack is similar in terms of demand and supply as far as performance goes with his teammates and who's playing the critical roles through the midfield," Beveridge added.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Jack Macrae of the Bulldogs is tackled by Liam Duggan of the Eagles during the 2023 AFL Round 23 match between the Western Bulldogs and the West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium on August 20, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Like Caleb, Jack will have a significant influence at some stage, it could be this week. We don't discount that.

"Jack will play, but as far as formalising where that will be... you'll have to wait until Friday night."

Beveridge detailed that a potential Rory Lobb return would likely rely on an injury to a tall forward or Tim English. The Dogs are likely to rely on their All-Australian ruckman and youngster Sam Darcy to battle with Bombers big men Todd Goldstein and Sam Draper in the ruck on Friday night.

The Western Bulldogs and Essendon both sit at 2-2 heading into Round 5, with their clash to take place at Marvel Stadium on Friday at 7:40pm (AEST).

 2024-04-12T09:40:00Z 
Essendon WON BY 29 POINTS
Marvel Stadium
WB   
67
FT
96
   ESS