Patrick Cripps after winning the 2022 Brownlow Medal. Picture: AFL Photos

BROWNLOW Medallist Patrick Cripps wants the AFL to review the award's eligibility rules at the end of the season.

The Carlton captain, who won the league's most prestigious individual award two years ago, made the call just hours before Sydney star Isaac Heeney fronts the AFL tribunal.

Heeney was one of the favourites for the Brownlow until he received a one-game ban for striking St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster during the Swans' upset loss against the Saints on Sunday.

Unless Sydney can clear Heeney at the tribunal on Tuesday night, or downgrade the charge to a fine, the Swans ace will be ineligible.

Heeney was taken out of Brownlow betting minutes after the incident.


Cripps found himself in an identical scenario in 2022, when he was suspended for two games after a bump on Brisbane's Callum Ah Chee.

But the Blues were able to overturn the ban in a marathon appeals hearing and Cripps went on to win his first Brownlow, in one of the most thrilling counts in history.

The Blues superstar felt the AFL should review eligibility criteria to keep up with modern standards.

"It's obviously been a rule since it (the Brownlow) started," Cripps said on Tuesday ahead of his 200th AFL game.


"I feel like how we're protecting the head and little incidents, I feel like it's definitely a thing that needs to be reviewed at the end of the year.

"Because you'd hate to see someone like Isaac, if he did win, miss out on the chance. He's had a great year and he's a great player, and I feel like he plays the game the right way."

Swans coach John Longmire also said on Tuesday they didn't feel Heeney's crude fend-off that caught Webster high was malicious or intentional.

Adelaide star Izak Rankine will also front the tribunal on Tuesday night as the Crows try to reduce his four-game rough conduct suspension.


The Crows accept Rankine will serve a ban, but they will argue his bump on Brisbane opponent Brandon Starcevich was careless, not intentional.

Heeney went to break away from St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster and caught him across the face.

"If you watch the vision really closely, we just believe it wasn't intentional, and there was no malice involved," Longmire said.

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon also said post-match the incident was an accident, with no intent.

Heeney immediately realised what he had done and after he had marked and goalled, went to check on Webster.

Isaac Heeney looks on during the R17 match between Sydney and St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on July 7, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The blow left Webster on his haunches for a few seconds, but there appeared to be no hard feelings.

After Heeney's hearing on Tuesday, the Crows will try to downgrade the hefty penalty Rankine will serve.

"While Izak had no intention of making head high contact that resulted in the injury, it obviously did occur and that is not being contested," Crows football boss Adam Kelly said.

"We believe however that a careless grading is more befitting of the incident."

Following the collision, a Brisbane fan racially abused Rankine online and has since apologised publicly.

The Lions have cancelled his club membership and the AFL integrity department is investigating.