North Melbourne rookie Tom Wilkinson has played his last game for the club
NORTH Melbourne rookie Tom Wilkinson has quit the AFL to be part of the next season of The Amazing Race Australia with Paul Roos’ son Tyler.
AFL.com.au understands Wilkinson and Roos, former Southport teammates in the NEAFL, will fly to a secret location on Thursday to start filming for the reality TV show.
Tyler Roos is interviewed after Southport’s NEAFL premiership win in 2018. Picture: YouTube/NEAFL
Wilkinson played his final game for North’s VFL side on Saturday, winning eight disposals and kicking one goal in a 102-point loss to Geelong’s reserves at GMHBA Stadium.
It is believed he approached Kangaroos officials in the past fortnight about his TV opportunity, knowing he faced an uphill battle to retain his spot on the list.
Applications for The Amazing Race Australia shut on July 7, with the successful teams pitted against each other in a series of activities, in various countries, for the right to win $250,000 prizemoney.
The pairings are kept secret until the show airs, which forced Southport, where Roos – son of AFL great Paul – was still playing, to come up with a story as to why the gun midfielder was going to miss the rest of the season.
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The white lie to local media was that Roos, who was in contention to win the NEAFL’s most valuable player award this year, had accepted a job in the United States.
Wilkinson missed out on being drafted for four straight years until his breakout 2018 season as a forward – after being a midfielder until then – grabbed the Kangaroos’ attention.
Wilkinson at North Melbourne training in March. Picture: AFL Photos
North Melbourne selected him with the 41st pick in last year’s rookie draft and he was a pre-season standout in aerobic testing at Arden St.
However, a serious ankle injury effectively ruined Wilkinson’s season, and he was unable to make a strong impression in his eight VFL games either side of the setback.