Dog, Dee ball-winning mids named R2 Rising Stars

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TWO BALL-WINNING midfielders are the round two NAB AFLW Rising Star nominees, with Dee Tyla Hanks and Bulldog Jess Fitzgerald recognised for their efforts.

The 20-year-old Hanks is now in her third AFLW season, after being selected by Melbourne with pick No.6 in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft from Gippsland Power.

A small-but-tough midfielder as a junior, she started her AFLW career as a small forward, and has slowly but surely graduated to the midfield.

Hanks was a key part in Melbourne's big win over Richmond on Saturday, recording 19 disposals (13 kicks), six tackles and four marks in a well-rounded, four-quarter performance.

Dogs mid and third-year Demon named R2 Rising Stars

01:14 Feb 8. 2021. 5:00 PM

Western Bulldogs' Jess Fitzgerald and Melbourne's Tyla Hanks have been named the NAB AFLW Rising Stars for round two

Fitzgerald starred in just her second game of AFLW, having been selected with pick No.2 in last year's draft.

The Northern Knights product already had won a NAB League Grand Final best-on-ground medal just after her 17th birthday, coming into the AFLW as a noted big-game performer.

As the Dogs won their first game in a year (their sole previous win under Nathan Burke coming in round one, 2020), Fitzgerald was a constant threat against the Blues.

Fitzgerald, 18, finished with 15 touches (11 kicks), four tackles and a stunning goal, the disposal chain for which she started in the middle of the ground, before following up her kick.

Players are eligible for the NAB AFLW Rising Star if they are 21 years and under as of January 1, 2021, and have not been previously nominated.

Two players will be nominated per home-and-away round of the NAB AFLW season.

2021 NAB AFLW RISING STAR NOMINEES

  • Round one - Belle Dawes (Brisbane)
  • Round one - Tarni White (St Kilda)
  • Round two - Tyla Hanks (Melbourne)
  • Round two - Jess Fitzgerald (Western Bulldogs)

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