In Australian rules football, the followers are the players in the three positions- ruckman , ruck rover, and rover. These three players are known as followers because they have traditionally been used as players that follow the ball all around the ground, as opposed to playing in a set position. In recent years, there has been a decreased emphasis on set positions in Australian football. Followers still cover more ground than any other player on the field.[ citation needed ]
|B:||back pocket||fullback||back pocket|
|HB:||half-back flank||centre half-back||half-back flank|
|HF:||half-forward flank||centre half-forward||half-forward flank|
|F:||forward pocket||full-forward||forward pocket|
|Int:||interchange bench||interchange bench||interchange bench|
The ruckman's job is to contest with the opposing ruckman at centre-bounces that take place at the start of each quarter or after each goal, and at stoppages (i.e., boundary throw ins, ball ups). The ruckman usually uses his height (typically players are over 195 cm tall) to palm/tap the ball down so that a ruck rover or rover can run onto it.
Notable ruckmen in Australian football over the years include:
Before the 1950s, the role of the ruck-rover was known as the follower. His role was to assist the ruckman and rover at centre bounces by blocking and shepherding them from opposition players.This position disappeared in the 1950s with the success of Ron Barassi, Jr. in a role designated for him by Melbourne coach Norm Smith. The closest equivalent of the follower position in today's game is known as a tagger.
The ruck rover's job is to be directly beneath the flight of the ball when a ruckman taps the ball down, allowing an easy take away, or clearance, from a stoppage. Typically players are not as tall as the ruckman, typically ranging from 170–190 cm in height.
Notable followers and ruck-rovers in Australian football over the years include:
The rover is a player who lurks around centre bounces and stoppages to receive the ball from a ruck rover and complete a clearance. Rovers are typically the smallest player on the ground.
Notable rovers in Australian football over the years include:
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