In what was the closest ever Rising Star count since the Award’s inception in 1993, Brisbane’s Lewis Taylor claimed the Award with 39 votes, one vote ahead of the Western Bulldogs’ Marcus Bontempelli.
Selected in the Player’s Association’s 22Under22 squad of 45 by the ‘PA Board, 19-year-old Taylor made his midfield debut for the Lions in Round One this year and played every game.
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He was one of only two nominated players (the other being the Sydney Swans’ Harry Cunningham) and one of only three Brisbane players to play every match this season, averaging 84 percent time-on-ground.
Of the 23 nominees, Lewis had the most disposals (371), the third-most score involvements (86) and fifth-most contested possessions (109).
Lewis’ averages included 17 disposals, five contested and 12 uncontested possessions and he kicked 12 goals.
Recruited from Terang-Mortlake Football in Western Victoria and the Geelong Falcons, Taylor was selected at pick 28 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.
Lewis captained Vic Country in the 2013 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was named in the 2013 Under-18 All-Australian team. He was a member of the 2012 AIS-AFL Academy – Level Two squad.
Lewis is the fourth Brisbane Lions player to win the award following Nathan Buckley (then Brisbane Bears) 1993, Chris Scott (then Brisbane Bears) 1994 and Daniel Rich 2009.
The NAB AFL Rising Star is voted on by the All-Australian selection panel: Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Mark Evans, Danny Frawley, Warren Tredrea, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Luke Darcy, Matthew Richardson, Kevin Bartlett and Kevin Sheehan (Rising Star selector only).
Lewis Taylor 39 Brisbane Lions
Marcus Bontempelli 38 Western Bulldogs
Luke McDonald 32 North Melbourne
James Aish 19 Brisbane Lions
Kade Kolodjashnij 7 Gold Coast Suns
Luke Dunstan 5 St Kilda
Tom Langdon 5 Collingwood
Harry Cunningham 3 Sydney Swans
Josh Kelly 1 GWS Giants
Jarman Impey 1 Port Adelaide