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Fremantle Dockers coy on son of a gun Maurice Rioli Jr for national draft

Fremantle won’t force Richmond’s hand with an early bid on father-son prospect Maurice Rioli Jr in tomorrow’s AFL national draft.

Rioli Jr, pictured left, the son of late Richmond and South Fremantle champion Maurice, recently nominated the Tigers as his club of choice ahead of the Dockers and Essendon, where he qualifies for their Next Generation Academy.

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While Fremantle rate the exciting Tiwi Islander highly, The West Australian understands they don’t intend to bid on him with either of their first two selections, currently pick 12 and 32.

Richmond, whose draft hand includes picks 17, 36 and 61, are hopeful of avoiding having to use one of their early picks to match a bid from a rival club.

Maurice Rioli (Jnr) of NT Thunder runs with the ball during the round four NAB League match between Western Jets and NT Thunder at Downer Oval.
Camera IconMaurice Rioli (Jnr) of NT Thunder runs with the ball during the round four NAB League match between Western Jets and NT Thunder at Downer Oval. Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/Getty Images/AFL Photos

The Dockers are set to use their first-round pick for the best available talent, which could include West Perth colts skipper Heath Chapman or versatile Perth midfielder Nathan O’Driscoll.

West Coast have shown interest in Subiaco livewire Tyler Brockman, South Australian defender Malachy Carruthers and Victorian pair Jack Ginnivan and Will Bravo as they consider their options for their draft hand which starts at pick 62.

It comes as Eagles great and former WA under-18s coach Peter Sumich urged Adelaide to swoop on gun Perth forward Logan McDonald with pick one.

McDonald booted 21 goals in his debut season of senior footy, finishing second in the Bernie Naylor Medal standings to surge up the draft calculations.

“This kid should be number one,” Sumich told SEN.

“The reason why is I don’t see too many kids at 18 play league football and play the way he played in those nine games.

“For a kid of 18 to do what he did, and dominate in the air, I haven’t seen that for a long time. Kids of that age doing that at league football, to me he should be number one by far.”

Sumich also felt West Perth colts skipper Chapman would have been in the top-five draft conversation, alongside fellow West Aussies McDonald and Denver Grainger-Barras, if the national under-18s carnival wasn’t cancelled.

“I expect him to go in the top 15 but if he played in the carnival, you probably would’ve seen him in the top six,” Sumich said.

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