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New Roo follows in the footsteps of Pagan, big Sav

Tarryn Thomas will wear No.26 for the Kangaroos next season - AFL,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Tarryn Thomas
Tarryn Thomas will wear No.26 for the Kangaroos next season

GUN North Melbourne recruit Tarryn Thomas will wear the No.26 jumper made famous by Peter Bell, Sav Rocca and Sel Murray, while fellow draftee Curtis Taylor has been handed the No.31 star ruckman Corey McKernan wore in the club's golden 1990s era.

Thomas' and Taylor's jumper numbers for 2019 were announced by North on Tuesday morning, along with those of the club's other recruits from the NAB AFL Draft and rookie draft.

Father-son recruits Bailey Scott and Joel Crocker will wear No.30 and 36 respectively, rookies Tom McKenzie and Thomas Wilkinson No. 39 and 41.

Thomas will hope to continue No.26's proud tradition, which stretches back to the 1940s when spearhead Murray topped the Roos' goalkicking in the jumper from 1940-42 and led the competition's goalkicking with 88 in 1941.

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Denis Pagan, who would later coach North to the 1996 and 1999 premierships, wore No.26 in his second season at Arden St before switching to the No.17 that he wore in the Roos' 1974 Grand Final loss to Richmond.

Bell played under Pagan in those premierships and became one of the competition's premier midfielders, winning All Australian selection in 1999 and North's best and fairest a year later, while Rocca crossed from Collingwood to play the final six seasons of his stellar career in the No.26, giving the Roos outstanding service with 234 goals in 101 games.

The Roos traded up to pick Taylor at No.46 in the national draft and the club underlined its high opinion of the mercurial medium forward by handing him No.31.

McKernan established himself as one of the competition's best players in that jumper during North's run of consecutive preliminary final appearances from 1994-2000.

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A high-leaping ruckman who could drift forward with devastating effect, McKernan played in the 1996 and 1999 premierships and was named the AFLPA MVP in 1996.

Fellow ruckman/forward David Hale also played 98 games in No.31 from 2003-10 before crossing to Hawthorn, where he played in the 2013-15 premierships.

Scott's No.30 jumper has been worn with distinction by recently retired spearhead Jarrad Waite, defender Daniel Pratt, who played 116 games from 2005-11, and 1975 and 1977 premiership defender Frank Gumbleton.

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The No.36 Crocker will wear was most notably worn by 1977 premiership player Steven Icke, 1990s midfielder Jose Romero and 2000s key defender Shannon Watt.

Scott's father Robert wore No.8 in 113 games for the Kangaroos from 1995-2000, Crocker's father Darren No.27 for all bar the first season of his 1985-1998 stint at the club. Both played in the 1996 premiership.

McKenzie's No.39 was worn by speedster Leigh Harding in 141 games from 2001-10, while Wilkinson's No. 41 was donned all too briefly by Adrian McAdam when he booted 92 goals from just 36 games from 1993-95.