NORTH Melbourne has extra reason to celebrate its trip to Darwin this weekend, with the club’s in-demand young ruckman Tristan Xerri set to turn down rival interest and commit his future to the Kangaroos.
AFL.com.au understands Xerri is on the verge of signing a new three-year deal with North Melbourne, which will ensure the 201cm big man remains at Arden Street until at least the end of the 2025 campaign.
As flagged by AFL.com.au’s Inside Trading earlier this year, Xerri had initially elected to put contract talks on hold with the Kangaroos in order to focus on cementing his place in David Noble’s best team.
It followed a trade request to St Kilda at the end of last season, though a deal between the two clubs couldn’t be negotiated when North Melbourne demanded that a future second-round pick be involved in the discussions.
Xerri has since emerged as arguably the Kangaroos’ first-choice ruckman this season, working well in tandem with uncontracted veteran Todd Goldstein to play eight senior games and average 10.4 disposals and 20.9 hitouts per match.
The club now has a host of other contract priorities heading into the back-half of the season, including securing a deal for star forward Cam Zurhaar and making a decision on the future of the 33-year-old Goldstein.
North Melbourne, who travelled to Darwin on Friday afternoon ahead of this weekend’s clash with Gold Coast at TIO Stadium, will be looking to improve upon its disappointing 1-10 record so far this year.