AFL Under-19s Championship fixtures: WA to kick off carnival against South Australia and pick one fancy Jason Horne-Francis

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Jordan McArdleThe West Australian
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Jason Horne is being touted as a potential number one pick.
Camera IconJason Horne is being touted as a potential number one pick. Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

He’s the most talked about draft prospect in the country, and Jason Horne-Francis coming to Perth this month.

The powerful South Adelaide midfielder, who has been dominating the SANFL senior competition this season, will form part of a star-studded South Australia under-19s side against WA on August 29.

The match, at Mineral Resources Park, will kick off the national carnival after a few false starts due to coronavirus and border restrictions.

Horne-Francis, likened to Geelong captain Joel Selwood, recently changed his surname from Horne to acknowledge the influence of his step father and former Port Adelaide and South Fremantle player Fabian Francis.

Coming off a 22-possession, three-goal performance against Central District, Horne-Francis is a leading contender to be the first name called out in the national draft alongside father-son duo Nick Daicos (son of Collingwood’s Peter) and Sam Darcy (son of Western Bulldogs’ Luke).

He’s one of several first-round draft fancies for the highly-rated Croweaters including South Adelaide teammates Matthew Roberts, Arlo Draper and Port Adelaide father-son prospect Jase Burgoyne (son of Peter).

WA will also have two games across five days in Melbourne around the AFL grand final - against Vic Metro on September 24 (venue TBC) and Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium on September 28.

The Black Swans’ clash against the Allies, originally scheduled for July 31 in Blacktown, has been cancelled altogether.

WA under-19 squad members have recently returned to their WAFL and PSA teams after three trial matches against the State 17s, East Perth and Perth.

WA’s under-19s v East Perth’s reserves/colts in a trial match ahead of the AFL National Under-19s Championship. Pictured -  Neil Erasmus of WA. Picture - Justin Benson-Cooper / The West Australian
Camera Icon Neil Erasmus and his teammates will begin their under-19 campaign against South Australia. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

AFL Academy guns Matt Johnson (Subiaco), Neil Erasmus (Subiaco/Hale School), Jack Williams (East Fremantle), Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont) and Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts/Guildford Grammar) are among the biggest names in the WA squad.

The carnival will also give AFL recruiters a chance to see how in-form WAFL colts players like Jye Amiss, Kade Dittmar (East Perth), Max Chipper (Swan Districts), Brady Hough (Peel Thunder) and Taj Woewodin (East Fremantle) stack up against the country’s best young talent.

The two-day national combine will be held in Melbourne on September 29 and 30, with up to 60 players selected.

State combines will happen around the country in October, including in Perth on October 17 with the best prospects not invited to the national combine taking part in various medical and fitness tests.

The NAB AFL Futures Match is set to be held on grand final day once again, featuring the best 2022 draft prospects from around the country.

AFL Under-19s Championship fixtures

August 29: WA v South Australia at Mineral Resources Park

September 18: Vic Metro v Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium

September 24: Allies v South Australia at TBC, Vic Metro v WA at TBC

September 28: South Australia v Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium, Vic Country v WA at GMHBA Stadium

October 2/3: Vic Country v Allies

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