199cm Suns ruckman is a star on the rise

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2021 AFL New Zealand Premiership.


Each week the award will be allocated to those who show ability that favours the core components it takes to become an AFL Player. To be eligible to be nominated for the award, a player must be born in 2002 or younger.

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award for round 1 of the 2021 AFL New Zealand Premiership has been awarded to Tahlor Cahill from the Northern Suns.

Tahlor stands at 199cm and made his debut for the Northern Suns against the Western Crows last Sunday. 

He dominated the rucking contest against senior opposition and managed to get a number of possessions throughout the game. 

Suns head coach, Adem Manaderovic see’s plenty of potential in the young star. 

“It’s not often that a tall talented player comes along, that moves like a ruck rover.

Having helped coach him at the Eastern Blues in Christchurch, I had to do everything within my power to continue his development by drafting him to the Northern Suns.

His efforts on the weekend in the ruck were possibly the most dominant hit out display seen in NZ footy.

With some further maturity of the game, the sky is the absolute limit for this talented youngster.”

AFL New Zealand spoke to Tahlor and asked him a couple of questions during the week.

What School do you attend?

I attended Shirley Boys High School until year 12 and am now at Hamilton Boys High for my last year.

What sports did you play growing up?

Growing up I played Rugby, Soccer, Cricket, Volleyball, Waterpolo and Sevens.

How did you get into AFL?

My older brother Layton has been playing for a number of years and I first started playing in the Canterbury league last season. 

What do you enjoy about playing AFL?

I enjoy the physicality of the game and the amount of space there is. 

What are your goals for AFL in the future?

Would love to be able to showcase my skills in front of some AFL scouts.

What do you think your biggest advantage is out on the field?

Having multiple sporting backgrounds and being tall and athletic.