QLD ruckmen off to flying start

Archie Smith and Fraser Thurlow have started strongly, with impressive vertical leap results at this year’s AFL Draft combine.

Queenslanders Archie Smith and Fraser Thurlow have shown their strengths on Day One of the AFL National Draft Combine.

With the opening day consisting of the standing and running vertical jump tests , the two ruckmen stood out from the pack.

Thurlow, a mature age player from Labrador who was invited to the combine after a super NEAFL season, finished up third with a relative vertical jump with 75cm.

The Labrador ruckman has been superb for the Tigers this season, and was best on ground for the NEAFL Under-22s against the SANFL Under-20s this year.

Tasmanian Kade Kolodjashnij, a projected top-10 draft selection, finished on top with a 79cm vertical relative jump, ahead of fellow Tasmanian Brady Grey (76cm).

Lions Academy member Archie Smith showed his brilliant leap in the running vertical jump test, finishing equal first, with a 97cm jump.

Brisbane have first rights to the former basketballer, who came across to AFL only 12 months ago, as an Academy player.

If the Lions choose to nominate Smith on Friday, the rules will be similar to the father-son system, where they will have to match any bids from rival clubs.

If no other bids are registered, the Lions can list Smith with their last pick in November’s draft.

AFL Academies development manager, Michael Ablett, said Smith was impressive in the opening day of the testing.

“There’s no doubt he’s a first-choice athlete. Brisbane are obviously very excited about having him and he’s one who’s showed solid improvement throughout the year,” Ablett said.

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