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Roos hope code hopper will shine in AFL

AAP logoAAP 23/11/2016 Jason Phelan

North Melbourne have enticed promising rugby prospect Tom Jeffries to switch codes, the Roos signing the towering athlete to an AFL rookie deal.

Jeffries, who is 202cm, turned down a contract with a Super Rugby team in Australia and a rowing scholarship at Princeton University in the US to join North.

The 17-year-old Queenslander will hone his skills playing with VFL affiliate Werribee next season before joining the Kangaroos full-time.

"Tom is an outstanding athlete and we are delighted to welcome him to the club," football boss Cameron Joyce said.

"Tom will have a great opportunity to develop at VFL level and partake in all AFL training.

"We expect to develop him as a ruckman under the tutelage of (ruck coach) Alex Ishchenko and he'll join in full training upon the players' return next week."

Tom's older brother, Sam, plays for Super Rugby club the Melbourne Rebels.

"All my family plays rugby, so this is a new challenge and a new opportunity for me," Jeffries said.

"As long as I put in the hard work ... there are a lot of people down here who can help me with everything, so I'll feed off them and hopefully things will go from there."

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