‘Roos will retain Daw in AFL rookie draft

North Melbourne will retain Majak Daw through the AFL rookie draft as the ruckman’s rape trial continues.

The Kangaroos delisted Daw on October 29, but said at the time that their aim was to retain him as a rookie-listed player.

They confirmed on the eve of Friday’s draft that remains the case.

Daw has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape, with the allegations dating back to 2007.

The rookie draft has become increasingly important, especially since free agency was introduced in 2012.

Clubs are using the rookie draft to recruit mature-age players and those delisted from the AFL.

Last year, former Adelaide ruckman Shaun McKernan went to Essendon as a rookie selection and the year before Maverick Weller went from Gold Coast to St Kilda.

It is also a crucial fallback for players who missed out at Tuesday’s national draft in Adelaide.

Gach Nyuon, who was named All-Australian ruckman after the under-18 championships, is a strong chance to join a club on Friday.

While key position players dominated the early picks on Tuesday, clubs are less inclined to take ruckmen in the national draft and Nyuon looms as more of a project player.

Calder Cannons midfielder Nick O’Kearney and West Adelaide onballer Will Snelling could also be taken after they were rated strong chances to be recruited at the draft.

Darcy MacPherson, whose Dad Stephen played nearly 200 games for the Western Bulldogs, is not a father-son nomination.

But he also could join a club as a rookie-listed player after strong form this year for the Northern Knights and VFL side Footscray.

The pre-season and rookie drafts will be held at the AFL from 11am (AEDT) on Friday, with clubs lodging their selections remotely.

Meanwhile, Carlton also announced on Thursday that they had recruited delisted free agent Matthew Wright.

The midfielder played 94 games for Adelaide after he was recruited through the 2009 rookie draft.

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