Geelong coach defects to rival after AFL grand final loss

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read
James Rahilly (pictured) running during training for Geelong.
James Rahilly (pictured) has left the Geelong assistant coach role to join Adelaide Crows. (Getty Images)

Geelong assistant coach James Rahilly is leaving the AFL runner-ups to join wooden-spooners Adelaide.

Rahilly is departing after a decade at the Cats to be an assistant to the Crows' head coach Matthew Nicks next season.

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Nicks will have a new-look batch of assistants with Scott Burns (Hawthorn) and Nathan van Berlo (West Coast) also joining his team.

Nicks' sole remaining member of this year's assistant coaching staff is long-serving ruck coach Matthew Clarke.

The Crows have parted with assistants Ben Hart, Michael Godden - who will take over as coach of the club's state league team from next season - and Brent Reilly, who has returned to a development coach role.

Nicks has appointed a new football and data strategist with Chris Sheedy joining the Crows from Port Adelaide.

Adelaide this year finished last for the first time since the club's 1991 inception.

AFL wins rating war

The AFL have again beaten the NRL in the grand final TV war, but both codes came away smiling after a fruitful weekend.

Saturday night's AFL grand final between Richmond and Geelong attracted a national average TV audience of 3.812 million and a peak audience of 4.283 million.

It was the AFL's highest average audience since the 2016 grand final and was a 30 per cent increase on the 2019 decider, with the decision to schedule it at night playing a massive role in the positive figures.

The NRL's grand final between Melbourne and Penrith on Sunday attracted a national average TV audience of 2.967 million and a peak audience of 3.442 million.

The national average audience represented a 12 per cent increase on last year's figure of 2.641 million from the Sydney Roosters-Canberra decider, which was one of the smallest free-to-air audiences for an NRL grand final.

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