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AFL Rising Star 2021, votes, leaderboard winner

Melbourne’s decision to take a punt on a ruckman with its first 2019 draft pick continues to pay off, with Luke Jackson taking out the AFL Rising Star award.

The Demons ruckman on Thursday night was crowned the league’s best young player of the season, finishing with a total of 51 votes — the equal-third most in the award’s history — including maximum votes from nine of the 11 judges. Triple premiership Lion Chris Johnson gave Jackson two votes.

The 19-year-old finished ahead of Giants midfielder Tom Green, who polled 38 votes — including maximum votes from Johnson and Jude Bolton — and Port Adelaide forward Mitch Georgiades (28 votes).

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Swans duo Justin McInerney (14) and Errol Gulden (11) rounded out the top five.

Jackson became the first…

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