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Gerard Healy defends Nic Naitanui All-Australian inclusion

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 18 September, 2012 - 6:49 PM
Nic Naitinui Dean Cox

All-Australian selector and Sports Today host Gerard Healy has defended Nic Naitanui’s ruck selection last night, after journalist Mark Robinson criticised his inclusion above team mate Dean Cox.

Despite only playing in the ruck for 50 per cent of the time, Gerard Healy said all the figures pointed to Naitanui being the best ruckman in the league.

READ: AFL All-Australian team for 2012 announced

"When he's in the ruck, he's the most dominant ruckman in the game,” Gerard Healy said.

”Natinuni ticks all four boxes as a ruckman. He wins contested ball, he applies pressure when he can't get it. He is also the best at the ruck art despite his continuing apprenticeship.”

Gerard said Natinuni clears the ball 15 per cent more often and kicks ‘significantly more’ goals while in the ruck than Cox. He said despite only spending 50 per cent of his time as a ruckman, he had the highest number of Champion Data rankings points of all nominated ruckmen.

LISTEN: Gerard Healy defends Nic Naitinui's selection:

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AFL All-Australian Team 2012

All Australian Team ALL AUSTRALIAN: A record 15 players have been named in the All-Australian team for the first time . Star Hawthorn forward Lance Franklin has been named for the fourth time despite missing six games with injury.

Blog comments Your Say

  • Why argue over a team that will never represent Australia on the field. Playing for your club is the highest accolade achieved in the AFL. It would be interesting if the over payed, I canâ??t play more than one game in seven days players where to be chosen either as a state representative or two teams of the best players for that year. Then you could discus something actual.

    Peter Lynch Wednesday 19 September, 2012 - 5:04 AM

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