Swans' versatile backs set for tall Carlton task

Co-captain Dane Rampe has backed Sydney's undersized defence to cope with the threats posed by Carlton's towering forward line in their AFL elimination final.

The Blues boast back-to-back Coleman medallist Charlie Curnow and previous winner Harry McKay in a high-powered attack capable of tipping Friday night's MCG contest their way.

The star pair will play alongside fellow tall Tom De Koning, with Marc Pittonet recalled to shoulder the bulk of the ruck load.

Sydney, meanwhile, have had to overcome personnel issues in defence this season to claw their way into the top eight.

Rampe (neck) and Tom McCartin (concussion) both missed extended periods earlier in the campaign and Paddy McCartin (concussion) has been forced into retirement.

Forecast wet weather in Melbourne could help the Swans' chances of blunting Carlton's talls.

Tom McCartin is back in good form, with Rampe and Lewis Melican - the latter recalled in place of Robbie Fox - to offer support.

"It's going to be a challenge," Rampe said.

"There's some good players there, but I'm equally confident that we've got some good players in our back line as well.

"One of our strengths has been our versatility all throughout the year.

"We've had some curveballs with our key (defenders) over the season but blokes like Nick Blakey, Aaron Francis and Lewis Melican have stepped up really well."

Curnow is in superb form, having kicked a career-best 78 goals during the home-and-away season to stamp himself as one of the competition's most valuable players.

Rampe usually takes the opposition's deepest forward and will likely spend time on Curnow when the dangerous forward moves close to goal.

"When you get to my stage of your career it's kind of why you play footy, those big challenges," Rampe said.

"There's none bigger than the back-to-back Coleman medallist but should I see myself on him, I'm going to just really embrace the challenge.

"But it's going to be a team effort, no doubt there's not going to be too many strict match-ups."

Rampe played down the Swans' advantage in finals experience as they enter their third straight September campaign, after reaching the grand final last year.

Carlton have reached the major round for the first time in a decade with 180-game captain Patrick Cripps one of many making his AFL finals debut.

"We can definitely take some things from experiencing it in the last couple of years ... but the Blues are going to be just as hungry regardless of whether they're experienced or not," Rampe said.

"It's been a long time for them, so they're going to be just as geared up as what we are."

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