DOUBTS over the durability of No.2 ruckman Tom Nicholls will leave Gold Coast to scour the country for ruck depth after leaving one list spot open following Friday's rookie draft.
AFL.com.au understands the Suns will identify prospective ruckmen in the coming weeks, looking to bolster their stocks behind incumbent Jarrod Witts.
Entering the final year of his contract in 2019, Nicholls has failed to play since 2016, battling various injuries, while his professionalism has also been questioned at times internally.
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In no rush to finalise their list when the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP) opens next week, the Suns will use as much time as possible to decide on a ruckman before the March 15 deadline.
The priority to secure a genuine ruckman will ensure Peter Wright (203cm) can focus on playing forward, while No.6 pick Ben King (202cm) can develop in key posts.
With former Bulldog Tom Campbell set to arrive at North Melbourne via the SSP, the Suns' ruck search is expected to take them all over Australia with options thin.
Only five ruckmen were snapped up in this year's drafts – Kieren Briggs (GWS), Bailey Williams (West Coast), Darcy Fort (Geelong), Kieran Strachan (Adelaide) and Jordon Sweet (Western Bulldogs).
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Rugby convert Jack Blair, who stands at 205cm, could come into consideration for the Suns.
Dandenong Stingrays pair Bailey Schmidt (199cm) and Stephen Cumming (199cm) were invited to this year's Victorian State Combine along with Geelong Falcon Sam Conway (198cm).
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One other remote possibility is for the Suns to leave the list spot open into the 2019 season with the view to filling it in the mid-season draft, in which a date is yet to be determined.
Like Campbell at Arden Street, Mav Weller (Richmond), Zac Clarke (Essendon), Keegan Brooksby (West Coast), Corey Wagner (Melbourne) and Shane Mumford (GWS) will be back on AFL lists from December 1.