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Debutants set to dominate Round 1 as AFL returns for 2023 season

Richmond will take on Carlton on Thursday night.

Anticipation is building ahead of the AFL season opener this Thursday night.

Richmond will take on the navy blues in the opening tradition, before a Friday night blockbuster featuring the reigning premiers.

Carlton are calling on new recruits Harry Lemmey, Lachlan Cowan and Jaxon Binns to debut for the club as they try to pick up where they left off last season and find their spot in the top 8.

New skipper Patrick Dangerfield will lead the Cats onto the MCG stage for the first time since September, with a strong Geelong side taking on Collingwood in front of a near sold out stadium at Melbourne Park.

The Suns will play their first game at Carrara Stadium, newly renamed commercially as Heritage Bank Stadium, after the bank bought the stadium naming rights over the off season from Metricon. It won’t be easy pickings for Gold Coast, as they take on 2022 runners up Sydney.

Both West Coast and North Melbourne will be looking to get their season off on the right foot as both clubs try to make an improvement on their previous lackluster season and clinch an all important four points.

Alastair Clarkson, Ross Lyon and Brad Scott will return to senior AFL coaching roles with their new respective clubs in North, St Kilda and Essendon, amid the many other key round one matchups throughout the weekend.

The home of football, the MCG, will be the host of all four primetime games in the first round of season 2023.

Darby Travers and Matthew Davis contributed to this report.

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