Richmond father-son prospect Maurice Rioli Jnr has suffered a series of unfortunate events, leading to the small forward being unable to complete his 2km time trial.
With no AFL draft combine in 2020, individual states have had to run events, with the 18-year-old attempting the run over the weekend.
But in bizarre circumstances, Rioli was stopped by a group of plovers and was unable to finish the run.
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An email was sent to all AFL clubs in recent days, outlining how Rioli was attacked on the run before completing the circuit, with recruiting staff perplexed at the unlucky situation and amused at a response by a long-time list manager in an email chain.
Foxfooty.com.au understands Rioli has made a full recovery from the incident.
“When we received that email, having grown up in the country I know what being attack by a plover is like and it’s not pleasant, they’re almost as aggressive as magpies,” Sydney Swans list manager Kinnear Beatson told AFL Media’s Road to the Draft podcast.
“But I couldn’t help myself, I was laughing when I read it. I actually replied all… (saying) ‘in my time in recruiting which is in excess of 30 years, you wouldn’t believe how often incidents like this occur’.
“In particular I wrote cheekily, in fact there was one draft combine in Canberra where a wedge-tailed eagle swooped out and plucked a player off the track. I just left it at that.
“I did get a lot of funny texts and calls from the recruiting and list management fraternity. It just seemed so funny, you picture a young player try to dodge and weave and avoid a plover attack.
“I’ve never heard a reason like that as to why a player couldn’t complete his testing. It was quite comical.”
Beatson suggested recruiting personnel around Australia had to do plenty of googling to establish what the animal was, given many were metropolitan based people.
“They didn’t even know what a plover was. Their knowledge of our fauna has increased significantly.”
Rioli will join Richmond as a father-son selection at December’s draft.