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Jonathan Brown to captain Big V

08/05/2008 05:39:32 PM Comments (0)

Victorian captain Jonathan Brown is set to be a certain starter in Saturday's night Hall of Fame tribute match.

Brown, who was a late withdrawal from Brisbane's clash with Geelong last Saturday with a hip complaint, trained strongly with the Victorian team at the MCG and passed a separate fitness test following the one-hour session.

Victorian coach Mark Thompson said Brown would be given the green light to play if he pulled up well on Friday.

Thompson also confirmed midfielder Gary Ablett has been ruled out of the match after scans revealed he has a tear in his calf.

"He had dreams of representing Victoria like his father and wanted to have a real impact and play with some great players," Thompson said of Ablett.

"I think he's pretty shattered to not be given that opportunity to play."

But Western Bulldogs utility Brad Johnson and St Kilda onballer Nick Dal Santo are in doubt for the showpiece match.

Johnson is battling a calf problem while Dal Santo has general soreness and both did not train with the main group.

Johnson rated himself a 50-50 chance to play following the training session.

Thompson said he would give Johnson another day to prove his fitness but he said Dal Santo was a "more unlikely" starter.

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