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Hawks to shift Wingard, Stephens to AFL rookie list

3 minute read

Hawthorn have committed to putting two-time All-Australian Chad Wingard and teammate Cooper Stephens on their AFL rookie list next season.

CHAD WINGARD. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Hawthorn forward Chad Wingard is set to join a growing list of experienced AFL players on clubs' rookie lists.

The rebuilding Hawks have shuffled their pack to create additional spots to draft new players to their primary list.

In doing so, they have committed to re-drafting Wingard and 22-year-old Cooper Stephens through this month's rookie selection.

Wingard, a two-time All-Australian, has played 218 games over a dozen seasons with Hawthorn and Port Adelaide.

The 30-year-old's career hung in the balance after a ruptured achilles ended his 2023 campaign early.

He later signed a one-year contract extension and is targeting a mid-season return in 2024.

Stephens joined the Hawks from Geelong during the 2022 trade period and is yet to add to his seven AFL games with his new club.

Shifting Wingard and Stephens to the rookie list will give Hawthorn enough available spots to use all of their selections at the national draft.

St Kilda have left the door open for Daniel McKenzie to be re-drafted after opting not to give the injury-prone midfielder a contract for next year.

McKenzie did not play a senior game in 2023 because of repeated calf injuries.

The 27-year-old will train with the Saints over summer and could re-join the list through the pre-season supplemental selection period.