Tom Hawkins is seen looking at a phone during the lightning delay in Geelong's clash against Hawthorn in round three, 2024. Picture: Channel 7

GEELONG and Tom Hawkins have received a warning from the AFL after the star forward was seen using a mobile phone during the Cats' win over Hawthorn on Easter Monday.

The League has also conceded umpires missed some free kicks for Hawthorn small forward Jack Ginnivan at the MCG on Monday.


During a lightning delay at three-quarter time at the MCG, Hawkins – playing his 350th AFL game – was handed a phone in the change rooms to look at the rain radar.

AFL executive general manager of football Laura Kane explained the situation to Footy Feed Extra on Tuesday.


"Geelong received a please explain overnight," she said.

"A really important part of our game is the integrity processes, the match day restricted area and the constraints on people to not use their mobile phones unless they are an authorised device user.

"The staff member who passed Tom the phone was an authorised device user, meaning it was appropriate for him to have his phone but we don't want to see mobile phones in that way.

"I understand he was having a look at the rain radar which was quite topical, and the afternoon was a little bit odd. Geelong Football Club, and the staff and player involved have received a warning."

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Only a select group of team staff are permitted to use mobile phones during games for integrity reasons.

Kane also explained the difference between the Hawkins situation and the 2021 phone incident involving Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe, for which Collingwood was fined $20,000.

In a statement, the AFL said it had reiterated to Geelong the importance of adhering to the League's rules around mobile phones on match days. 

"Geelong reinforced to the AFL that all player and staff phones (those not Authorised Device Users), were securely locked in a case as per standard process to comply with the AFL Rules," the League said.

"While the interaction was unintentional, it serves as an important reminder to all clubs that mobile phone usage is restricted to only authorised device users during the duration of a match."

Watch Footy Feed Extra above for Kane's full explanation about the Hawkins incident, the Jack Ginnivan situation and more