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North Melbourne digs heels in over contracted ruckman despite trade request


North Melbourne GM of Football Brady Rawlings says the club wants to keep Tristan Xerri after the ruckman requested a trade to St Kilda.

The 22-year-old has signalled his intention to join the Saints with a year to run on his contract after playing just 12 games since he was drafted to the Kangaroos in 2017.

Xerri is stuck behind Todd Goldstein in North Melbourne’s ruck pecking order but has impressed in the VFL, finishing second in the club’s best and fairest in 2021.

It will take something “very attractive” for North Melbourne to consider trading the 202cm ruckman, according to Rawlings.

“We signed Tristan for a couple of years, so he’s got one more year to go,” he told SEN Mornings.

“Given he’s in contract, he’s very much a required player for us.

“We played him for half the year this year and he was the dominant player in the VFL when he wasn’t playing AFL, I think he was 20 votes ahead in our VFL best and fairest before he started playing AFL.

“He’s come along really well, Tristan. He’s a competitive ruckman, he follows up at ground level and stands down the line and takes a grab.

“We’ve got no real interest in losing Tristan at all, but he has requested a trade. It would have to take something very attractive for us to even consider it.”

North Melbourne further bolstered their rucks with the acquisition of Callum Coleman-Jones from Richmond.

Xerri was selected with pick No.72 in the 2017 National Draft, but had to wait until 2020 to make his AFL debut.

As things stand, St Kilda holds picks 9, 62, 66, 67 and 85 in this year’s draft.

North Melbourne St Kilda

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