Willie Rioli
Photo: aflphotos.com.au
DOB
4/6/95
Height
176cm
Weight
76 kg
Junior club
St Mary's (NT)
Arrived
Pick 52 in the 2016 national draft
Number
44 (2017 - )
Debut
Round 2 2018 vs Western Bulldogs
(238th Eagles player)
Games
38
Goals
46
Honours
Premiership medal (2018)
Emerging Talent (2018)
B&F Top 10
1 (2018)
Best Finish
10th (2018)
Other clubs
South Fremantle (WAFL) 2013
St Mary's (NTFL) 2014
Glenelg (SANFL) 2015 - 2016
East Perth (WAFL) 2017-

Territorian Willie Rioli, one of the famous Rioli footballing clan, was West Coast's third pick in the 2016 national draft.

West Coast career[edit | edit source]

A cousin of Hawthorn star Cyril Rioli and nephew of the great Maurice Rioli, Willie Rioli junior moved from Darwin to South Fremantle as an 18-year-old in an attempt to get drafted. His father, Willie senior, had played senior football for the Bulldogs along with his brothers Maurice, Cyril and Sebastian, and had himself been drafted by Hawthorn in 1990, although he did not play a senior game for the Hawks.

Willie junior went undrafted and returned to Darwin where he played back at St Mary's. He shifted to Adelaide to play for Glenelg in 2015,[1] dropping a massive 16 kilograms and impressing as a defensive small forward. Rioli kicked 23 goals in 16 games in 2016, as well as a bag of four for the SANFL representative side against Victoria.

Rioli looked set for an early debut before suffering a hamstring injury in training, and then re-injuring the tendon in his first senior WAFL game. He returned late in the season and showed promise at East Perth but was overlooked for AFL duties.

Despite a limited pre-season in 2018, Rioli was quickly brought into the senior side in Round 2 and immediately impressed as a silky small forward with the ability to push up into the midfield. He played every game from that point on, and joined cousins Cyril and Daniel (Richmond) in becoming a premiership player, additionally being awarded the club's Emerging Talent gong.

Looking to build on that in 2019, Rioli suffered a foot injury on the eve of the season that kept him out of action for two months. He returned to kick 18 goals from 14 games before receiving a provisional suspension from the national anti-drug agency for allegedly tampering with his urine sample during a routine test, ruling him out of the semi-final against Essendon and putting his career in jeopardy.

Stats[edit | edit source]

AFL Gm G B K M H D T Cl WAFL Gm G B K M H D T
2017 0 EP 4 7 4 33 13 13 46 7
2018 24 28 14 182 77 90 272 63 24 0
2018 14 18 10 121 47 65 186 42 14 WCE 0
Tot 38 46 24 303 124 155 458 105 38
Avg 1.2 8.0 3.3 4.1 12.1 2.8 1.0

Tribunal record[edit | edit source]

Year Rd Charge Outcome
2018 10 Misconduct against B.Hardwick Accepted $1,500 fine
2018 10 Making careless contact with umpire Accepted $1,000 fine
2018 19 Striking B.Cunnington Accepted $2,000 fine
2019 12 Rough conduct against C.O'Riordan Accepted 1-week suspension

References[edit | edit source]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Rioli

https://afltables.com/afl/stats/players/W/Willie_Rioli.html

http://www.wafl.com.au/players/view/5274

  1. Braden Quartermaine, PerthNow (4 February 2018), "West Coast Eagles fan favourite Willie Rioli embraces name game": https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/west-coast-eagles/west-coast-eagles-fan-favourite-willie-rioli-embraces-name-game-ng-b88731450z
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