Murray Bushrangers keep going to Hawthorn.
Three days after the Hawks picked up Benalla’s Harry Morrison, Mansfield’s James Cousins joined him at the AFL powerhouse.
The reigning Bushies best-and-fairest was overlooked in Friday night’s National Draft, but he was given a lifeline yesterday.
Hawthorn selected Cousins with its third and final pick (No.46) in the Rookie Draft after taking Oliver Hanrahan and ruckman Jack Fitzpatrick in the first two rounds.
The teenage midfielder has been a consistent high-level performer in his top-age year with the Bushies, being named in his side’s best six players in 12 of 18 games.
Cousins had a taste of senior Goulburn Valley Football League action at Mansfield last year.
Former Bushranger Dan Howe is also at the Hawks after being drafted to the power club in 2014.
Cousins joins Morrison, Will Brodie (Shepparton), Jy Simpkin (Mooroopna), Esava Ratugolea (Cobram), Todd Marshall (Deniliquin), Ryan Garthwaite (Corowa-Rutherglen), Lachlan Tiziani, Zach Sproule and Max Lynch (all Albury) as Bushies from this year’s crop to find a home at an AFL club.
Meanwhile, Seymour product Josh Prudden was handed a second chance by reigning premier Western Bulldogs.
Prudden, 22, has endured a torturous run with injury since being drafted to the Dogs in 2012.
He has been limited to four senior appearances (all last year) in his time at the kennel and is trying to make his way back from a knee reconstruction after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in April.
The Bulldogs always had the intention of selecting Prudden in the Rookie Draft after delisting him last month and he was picked up with pick 35.
Strathmerton’s own Louis Pinnuck was overlooked in the national and rookie drafts.