Membrey omission no excuse for Saints in finals loss


St Kilda coach Ross Lyon says Tim Membrey's late withdrawal from the elimination final team is "no excuse" for his side's AFL season-ending defeat to GWS.

Membrey was taken out of the Saints' line-up a few hours before bounce down at the MCG on Saturday because of what the club referred to as a "personal health matter".

Young forward Anthony Caminiti was given special permission by the league to take Membrey's place despite not being named as an emergency in the initial 26-man squad.

Lyon said the call was made at 8.15am on Saturday, with the AFL and GWS ticking off the late change.

"It's certainly no excuse (for the result)," Lyon said after the Saints' 15.11 (101) to 11.11 (77) defeat.

"It probably challenged those closest to him, we addressed it, he's in a safe space and our thoughts are with Tim.

"We'll just work through it. I've got nothing further to add."

St Kilda released a brief statement addressing the matter at about 10.30am on Saturday.

"Membrey is currently receiving appropriate care and treatment due to a personal health matter," the statement said.

"He will be replaced in the side by Anthony Caminiti.

"Tim's health and wellbeing is our primary concern and the club asks that Tim and the Membrey family's privacy is respected at this time."

GWS coach Adam Kingsley said the Giants were fine with St Kilda calling in Caminiti as a replacement for Membrey.

"Obviously it's a serious situation with Tim so we respect that and we had no issues with them replacing him with someone outside the emergencies," Kingsley said.

"It's one of those unfortunate situations that we feel for the player and it's one of those unforeseen ones that we just moved on."

Membrey had a delayed start to the season and managed just seven games in 2023 as he battled knee injuries and concussion.

The 29-year-old has played 160 games and kicked 263 goals over 10 AFL seasons.