Tigers poised for move on Cousins - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers poised for move on Cousins

10/12/2008 10:07:13 PM Comments (0)

Richmond are making a late and audacious bid to recruit troubled AFL star Ben Cousins in next week's pre-season draft.

The Tigers have sent a request to the AFL for special permission to have injured defender Graham Polak placed on their rookie list, opening up a second pick at next Tuesday's draft.

It is understood the request has been made to clear the way for the Tigers to resuscitate self-confessed drug addict Cousins' return to the game after the former West Coast superstar was deregistered by the AFL last year.

It appears Richmond have made a commitment already to a player for their first pick and need the second in order to be able to select Cousins.

Polak hasn't played for the Tigers since he was struck by a tram in Melbourne in June this year.

The 24-year-old suffered bruising on his brain and was placed in an induced coma after the incident.

Since then he has begun a long recovery process and the AFL confirmed on Wednesday they had received a written request from the Tigers for him to be placed on their rookie list as his rehabilitation continued.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson said in a statement he had been in touch with the other 15 AFL clubs to canvas their views on the request.

A decision will be made when the AFL Commission votes at its next meeting on Monday, December 15 - the day before the draft.

Speculation was rife on Wednesday night that 30-year-old Cousins, the 2005 Brownlow medallist, could be bound for Punt Road.

The AFL ruled before the national draft earlier this month that Cousins was free to attempt a comeback.

But, in the week before the draft, St Kilda and Brisbane ruled out recruiting Cousins, while Collingwood had done likewise a month earlier.

Richmond's highly unusual last ditch attempt will continue Cousins' controversial bid to resume his career.

Richmond were contacted on Wednesday night but declined to comment directly on Cousins.

But, in a statement, the club said: "The Richmond Football Club confirms that it wrote to the AFL seeking permission for Graham Polak to be placed on the rookie list for 2009, under compassionate grounds.

"The application was made with the full support of Polak, in the knowledge that he is still undertaking extensive rehabilitation after suffering an acquired brain injury earlier this year.

"The Richmond Football Club does not want to preempt the decision of (the) AFL commission and as such will not be making comment about potential draft selections until a decision is handed down next Monday."

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