All the best Jack, says Saint Nick - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All the best Jack, says Saint Nick

By Sam Lienert 02/05/2008 10:48:45 AM Comments (0)

As St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt recalls, it was not many years ago that his cousin Jack was doing work experience with the Saints.

On Saturday night at Telstra Dome, the 19-year-old forward will be part of a Richmond side trying to send St Kilda into the first break of the AFL season in negative win-loss territory.

While 25-year-old Nick is hoping Jack Riewoldt does not cause too much damage, he is happy to admit to watching his cousin's career emergence with a fair degree of family pride.

"Every week that he's played I've been interested to see when he's been named, absolutely, every week I check up on how he's gone and I'm sure he does the same," Riewoldt said.

"Being similar players and playing in similar positions makes it a little bit more interesting."

While Nick Riewoldt has four best and fairest awards to his name and the club captaincy, the career of his younger cousin is very much in its infancy.

But while Saturday night's AFL match will be just the 12th for Jack, it will be his second against Nick's Saints.

The first was round 22 last year and while Jack Riewoldt had a quiet game in a match the Saints won by 10 points, Nick acknowledges the youngster had the better of him when their paths crossed.

"Playing both as forwards we were right at different ends, but there was one stage when we were both in the same vicinity at the end of the game," Riewoldt said.

"I was pretty buggered and I think he might have been pretty fresh and he danced around me pretty easily."

The confident teenager - who was Richmond's first selection in the 2006 national draft - subsequently reminded him of that incident and Nick said there was sure to be some ribbing between them again after Saturday night's match.

But there has always been plenty of mutual support.

Jack and his parents used to travel regularly from their home in Tasmania to cheer Nick on with the Saints.

Nick was happy to offer advice as his cousin progressed towards the AFL.

"It was quite clear from an early age that he was going to be a very good footballer," Nick Riewoldt said.

"He was always very into his footy and came over and did work experience at St Kilda.

"He would have been 14 or 15 and he stayed with me."

After failing to make the Tigers' team for the first three rounds this season, Jack Riewoldt has played the past three, coinciding with a marked lift in Richmond's form.

While the Saints have won their past nine encounters with Richmond, Nick Riewoldt is wary, particularly given the unremarkable form of the Saints, who are 3-3.

"Richmond are probably the most improved side in recent weeks in the AFL," Riewoldt said.

"While it's only early days, they've turned their season around and we're in a position now where we're not going as well as we want to be.

"But our season's still very much alive and this is a crunch game for both clubs."

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