Cyril Rioli’s manager Adam Ramanauskas has dismissed suggestions that Rioli’s premiership teammate Luke Hodge is trying to coax him out of retirement to join the Brisbane Lions next year.
The claim was made by former Geelong forward Ronnie Burns on the Marngrook Footy Show on Wednesday night, but Ramanauskas hosed it down on Thursday morning.
Reunion ruled out: Cyril Rioli and Luke Hodge won’t be playing together at the Lions.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of that,” Ramanauskas told RSN.
“I’ve had four clubs contact me on Cyril Rioli and that was probably two weeks after he decided to retire and there has been no further conversation from any of those four clubs.
“He won’t be playing. He’s going to Darwin to live and to start the next phase of his life.”
The report also took Hodge by surprise.
“First I’ve heard of it,” Hodge tweeted. “Would love to know his source though.”
Rioli and Hodge played together for 10 seasons, including premierships in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The pair also won three of the four Norm Smith Medals on offer in those grand finals.
Rioli announced his retirement last month at just 28 after 189 games and 275 goals with the Hawks.
If Rioli was to join the Lions next year, he would be following an identical path to Hodge who also retired before heading north to the Gabba.
The strong Hawthorn connection at the Lions doesn’t end with Hodge, as coach Chris Fagan was a long-time right-hand man to current Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.
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