Main content

Chatty Tiger snags two more years at Punt Road

Tex ban, Dees' party trick A Footy Feed update with Mitch Cleary
Life's OK for Jack Higgins - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Jack Higgins,Contracts
Life's OK for Jack Higgins

RICHMOND livewire Jack Higgins is locked in as a Tiger until at least the end of 2021 after signing a contract extension this week. 

AFL.com.au understands the deal was confirmed on Thursday, the same day Richmond announced the re-signing of four-time All Australian defender Alex Rance.

Higgins, 19, has played 11 games in his first season since making his AFL debut in round three against Hawthorn.

TENDER TIGERS TRIO Injury cuts down three for weeks

His new deal has been in the works for some time, with Higgins following the trend of draftees extending their base two-year contract in their first season.

The exciting midfielder/forward is already a fan favourite for his exuberant personality, goal celebrations and contagious energy.

And the players are also entrenched in the Higgins camp, with his famous half-time rev-ups having them in hysterics before they've broken from their huddle for the start of the third quarter.

While his speeches, according to teammate Shane Edwards, aren't consistently concise, they've become significant for the Tigers in recent weeks.

"He just gives us an extra rev-up," Edwards told AFL.com.au after their round 15 win over Sydney.

"He's done it the last few weeks. Nothing relaxes the boys and gets them up more than a 'Higgo' speech. There's a lot of mumbles and a lot of stumbles, but we love it."

They now have the opportunity to enjoy Higgins' sermons for at least another three seasons, with the No.17 draft pick joining the likes of Cam Rayner, Andrew Brayshaw, Paddy Dow, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Jaidyn Stephenson to ink extensions in their debut years.

Richmond football manager Neil Balme said Higgins had already made a big impact in the short time he'd been at Punt Road. 

"Jack has made an exciting start to his football career and is settling into the club very well for a young man," Balme said.

"We're looking forward to him continuing his development both on and off the field, he's a great talent and addition to our club."

 

Meanwhile, fringe Tigers Sam Lloyd and Corey Ellis face a less certain future at Punt Road, with negotiations about their out-of-contract status expected to come much later in the year.

As the Tigers continue to be linked to free agent Tom Lynch, who will come with a high price tag when he officially declares his intention to leave Gold Coast, there are a number of players that will have to wait before their own talks kick off.

Premiership forward Jacob Townsend is in that boat, with his manager Scott Lucas saying this week he remains optimistic his client will remain at Punt Road, but that he'll have to be patient.

"For a lot of those players, and I would imagine Jacob included, it is more a conversation at the end of the year," Lucas told Macquarie Sports Radio on Wednesday morning. 

"Let's not be silly, the phrase at the moment for a lot of clubs, (is) 'we don't know if we've got a million dollars or no dollars'.  

"And Richmond I would say it's fair to suggest would have a strong interest in Tom Lynch, so what they do, and how they manage their books is attached to the decision that Tom will make - as it is for Gold Coast and other clubs that are interested."

Bachar Houli, Shaun Grigg, Oleg Markov, Shai Bolton, Nathan Broad, Reece Conca and Connor Menadue are other Tigers coming out of contract at the end of this season.

Grigg told RSN Breakfast on Thursday morning "there's no contract on the table" at this stage but was "sure it would work out" if he continued to stay in form.

"It's an interesting one," Grigg said.

"There's been a lot of talk with some players coming to the club or not coming to the club, and when you get to my age, I've just hit 30 and it's to be expected that I wait and be one of the last ones signed or not.

"The ball's sort of in my court, I can just keep playing footy and keep contributing to the team … I feel like my body, touch wood, still has some years to go and I'm still contributing.

"All I can do is hopefully show 'Dimma' and the coaches and Blair Hartley, the list manager, that I'm some value going forward."

Houli's manager was at Punt Road on Thursday, but it is understood negotiations about his future aren't expected to get underway until the 30-year-old has a few weeks of form behind him following his return on Saturday night from a groin injury.