AFL confirms 2022 practice match schedule
West Coast and Fremantle will stay grounded in Perth as Adelaide and Port Adelaide travel to Queensland for AFL practice matches this month.
Still waiting for a state government decision on travel protocols for the season proper - with Western Australia's border slammed shut - the Eagles and Dockers will do battle behind closed doors at Optus Stadium on February 25.
The WA derby comes after Essendon and the Western Bulldogs meet at The Hangar on February 23 to open the four-day practice match schedule, which serves as preparation for the official pre-season series.
On February 24, Carlton host St Kilda at Ikon Park and premiers Melbourne take on North Melbourne at Casey Fields. Adelaide and Port Adelaide will fly the following day for matches against Brisbane and Gold Coast respectively in a double-header at Metricon Stadium.
The Crows and Power are the only teams scheduled to travel interstate for practice matches. Collingwood and Hawthorn will do battle in Morwell, with Sydney and GWS locking horns in Albury.
A Geelong-Richmond clash at GMHBA Stadium rounds out the practice matches on February 26.
"Our two objectives for pre-season practice matches are to give clubs the best opportunity to prepare ahead of the AAMI Community Series and to take matches to supporters in local and regional communities where possible," AFL scheduling boss Marcus King said.
"The practice matches will see football played around the country, including at regional and suburban venues such as Lavington Oval in Albury and Morwell Recreation Reserve, where fans will be able to watch their teams in action in their own backyard."
The official pre-season series will run from March 3-7 before premiers Melbourne host the Western Bulldogs in the regular-season opener at the MCG on March 16.
AFL PRE-SEASON PRACTICE MATCHES
Wednesday 23 February
Essendon v Western Bulldogs, The Hangar
Thursday 24 February
Carlton v St Kilda, Ikon Park
Melbourne v North Melbourne, Casey Fields
Friday 25 February
Brisbane v Adelaide, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast v Port Adelaide, Metricon Stadium
Collingwood v Hawthorn, Morwell Recreation Reserve
Sydney v GWS, Lavington Sports Ground
West Coast v Fremantle, Optus Stadium
Saturday 26 February
Geelong v Richmond, GMHBA Stadium.