JARRYD Roughead's persistence over some beers got Hawthorn premiership defender James Frawley thinking that his AFL retirement call may have been premature.

The 32-year-old on Thursday joined his third club, linking up with St Kilda as a delisted free agent, just six weeks after pulling the pin on his 239-game career with Melbourne and the Hawks. 

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It is a homecoming, of sorts, for Frawley who arrives at the club he supported as a child and where his late uncle Danny is one of its most revered figures. 

Saints great Danny Frawley farewells fans after his final game in 1995. Picture: AFL Photos

But it was his former Hawthorn teammate Roughead, who now works at St Kilda, who proved to be integral in the retirement backflip. 

"I planned to play at a VAFA (amateur level) side and start trying to work out what I wanted to do after footy; the next 20-25 years of my life," Frawley said on Friday. 

"Then I had a few beers with 'Roughy' up in Noosa and just got chatting and he said St Kilda might be keen – that was the first I heard of it and I was a bit surprised. 

"A bit weird coming to a third club but really excited to get out here and try to help this group strive to get better and hopefully to the ultimate success of a premiership." 

Jarryd Roughead looks on as his former Hawks teammate, now Saint, James Frawley speaks to the media on Friday. Picture: AFL Photos

Frawley said his entire family is rapt he had opted to finish his career with the Saints.

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He believes Danny, who died in September 2019 after a long battle with his mental health, would be thrilled, too. 

But James is certain his uncle, a renowned prankster, would have some choice words for him. 


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"Pretty much my whole family barracks for St Kilda. We used to go to Waverley basically every weekend and watch the club play.

"When I left Hawthorn, he (Frawley's father) goes 'At least I can go back to barracking for St Kilda now'. 

"(Danny would) probably come in and give me a headlock and a punch in the arm and say 'You've got a big name to live up to, don't stuff it up'."

Danny, who played for 240 games for St Kilda and captained the club with distinction, will soon be memorialised at Moorabbin, with a new $16 million community wellbeing hub centre to be named after him.