FUTURE STAR: Rebels’ midfielder Jacob Hopper. Picture: Getty ImagesTHREENorth Ballarat Rebelsare tipped to be early picks in Tuesday night’s AFL national draft.
Captain Darcy Tucker, Daniel Rioli and Jacob Hoppermay allfeature in the top 30 selections.
Tucker, a rebounding defender from Horsham Saints, has long been a hot junior prospect.
The classyleft-footer was named All-Australian in his bottom-age seasonwith the Rebels and followedup with a solid campaign this year.
Northern Territory’sRioliis the nephew of Hawthorn star Cyril andhas been invited to the event in Adelaide, after a strong finish to the season.
The lightning-quick small forward, who wasone of the best-performed athletes during October’s national combine, showed a tendency to play his best football when under the spotlight.
Perhaps the most unique story, however, is Hopper.
A member of Greater Western Sydney’s academy, the inside midfielder from Leeton is expected to be selected by the Giants as part of the new bidding process, which will make its debut on draft night.
Hopper has also been invited and looms as the Rebels’ first selection.
Several other Rebels are a chance of having their names calledout, either on Tuesday night or Friday’s rookie draft.
Western Australian Yestin Eades has attracted AFL interest, as has 19-year-old speedster Tom Templeton and South Warrnambool’s Charlie Lee.
Forward Matthew Johnston and classy midfielder Jacob Wheelahan may also feature.
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