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Franklin: Jumper punches to disappear

Adam Curley  May 24, 2017 10:59 AM

Franklin press conference - May 24, 2017 Lance Franklin speaks with the media ahead of our Marn Grook game at the SCG Friday night.
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Lance Franklin gets in a scuffle with North Melbourne opponent Robbie Tarrant.

Sydney superstar Lance Franklin has predicted a swift demise of the jumper punch after the AFL's crackdown on cheap shots this week.

A host of players have been fined for jumper punches and strikes to the stomach in recent weeks, prompting AFL football operations boss Simon Lethlean to publicly declare his intent to eliminate them from the game, with suspension acting as a deterrant.

Franklin, who has been involved in more than one heated exchange with the likes of Brisbane Lion Nick Robertson and North Melbourne's Robbie Tarrant in the past month, suggested the League's strong stance would have an immediate effect. 

"I think it will - as a player you know the rules, and if they (the AFL) set that rule then I'm pretty sure we'll stick to it," he said on Wednesday. 

"The AFL makes the rules so we have to move forward with it, otherwise you'll miss games, and that’s not what you want. 

"If you're going to miss games when it happens, then it'll be stamped out of the game straight away."

Franklin again faces Hawthorn at the SCG on Friday night, and in his fourth season since switching cities, the triple Coleman medallist said the buzz of coming up against his old club was starting to wear off.

The dual premiership Hawk said taking on his great mate Jarryd Roughead – who missed the entire 2016 season because of melanoma treatment - would be significant.

"It's great to have 'Roughy' back isn't it? I think everyone loves seeing him out there playing footy, because that’s what he loves to do," Franklin said.

"It'll be nice to run out and see him on Friday, but at the end of the day we've got a game we want to win, and I'll shake his hand after the game.

"They are just another club and a good one at that. They obviously lost last week against Collingwood, so we'll have to be at our best to get a win."

One of the greatest indigenous players of all time, Franklin can't wait to represent his culture in Friday night's Marn Grook game for Sir Doug Nicholls round, and wears his proud family history on his arms in the form of some well-researched tattoos.

"Obviously having the indigenous heritage means a lot to me, so I looked at some books and worked out exactly what I wanted, and was able to put together a story," he said.

"To be able to play in Indigenous Round is very special, not only to me but everyone.

"It recognises exactly what indigenous players bring to the game and I can't wait to play in it."

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