How will they impact their new team in S7?: Erin McKinnon

MANY AFLW stars made the moves to new clubs in the offseason and as we head toward season seven of the AFLW, we here at Rookie Me Central are going to take a look at some of these players and take a look at what kind of impact they can potentially make on their new teams this season.

Today’s focus is former Giant turned St Kilda ruck Erin McKinnon.

Coming into this AFLW season, St Kilda found themselves with a bit of a ruck crisis on their hands.

Last season their main ruck choice was Leah Cutting, with the likes of Rhi Watt, Kate Shierlaw, Jacqui Vogt and Caitlin Greiser chipping in to help.

Coming into this season, Cutting is on the inactive list and Watt is off at the Dees recovering from an ACL injury.

They were in serious need of a ruck, so McKinnon was the perfect pick up.

Although she was the number one choice ruck at the Giants last season, McKinnon was starting to get squeezed out by the likes of Ally Morphett, so was keen for the move for better opportunities.

She comes into a side where she can make an impact straight away.

McKinnon is a talented ruck, that has flown under the radar to an extent in the broader AFLW competition.

She comes to the Saints off the back of a season where she has averaged 20.5 hit outs a game, which was the third most in the entire league. She only averaged 0.3 hit outs less then Suns ruck Lauren Bella and 1.5 less then Lion Tahlia Hickie.

With Cutting on the inactive list and Simone Nalder the only other ruck on the list, McKinnon is going to be the first choice ruck due to her AFLW experience, so she will not have to worry about facing the same game time issues she was starting to face at the Giants.

Also with the increased number of actual rucks on the list as opposed to tall players who can ruck, McKinnon’s presence can have a broader affect on the St Kilda line up.

With McKinnon taking the ruck duties, this will free up the likes of Greiser and Shierlaw to go back to their normal positions and play there full time, which is only going to be a positive for the Saints. Both are much more dangerous up forward, and with the likes of Deanna Jolliffe coming in, Shierlaw will not be required to swing into defence like she was last season.

So Saints fans, although she is not the biggest name you could have picked up after last season, she sure is a very handy one whose inclusion may solve some problems for the Saints this season.

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