Academy standout shines for the Saints to claim Rising Star

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award will be awarded weekly to a standout young player in the 2020 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 2001 or younger.

The AFL New Zealand Rising Star award for round 6 of the 2020 AFL New Zealand Premiership has been awarded to Luke Lentner from the AFL New Zealand Academy.

Standing at 6 foot 3 inches, Luke has been in the high performance pathway for the past 3 years and has represented the Academy at both Level 1 and 2.

Luke was awarded the Rising Star after a standout performance playing in the ruck for the Southern Saints in their win over the Northern Suns. Not only did Luke perform well in the ruck but he managed to kick 2 goals.

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


What School do you attend?

Currently I attend Wesley College.

What sports did you play growing up?

Growing up I played a variety of sports but my main sport growing up was Rugby.

How did you get into AFL?

I got into AFL through my old school (Rosehill College) playing in the Secondary Schools AFL Cup.

What do you enjoy about playing AFL?

The biggest thing I enjoy about AFL is that I’m not the biggest on the field anymore. Throughout my whole Rugby career I’ve had to play one grade up because of my size but it still didn’t give me a challenge, so I just like the challenge the rest of the guys give me every time I step onto the field.

What are your goals for AFL in the future?

My future goals for the game of AFL is just to develop my skills and work my way through the league, so that I can be one of the best some day.

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

I think my biggest advantage on the field would be the way I read the game.