Jack Ginnivan details Collingwood exit conversation in new revelation about Craig McRae

The Hawthorn player has lifted the lid on the final conversation he had with the Collingwood coach.

Jack Ginnivan has opened up on the conversation he had with Craig McRae when he decided to leave Collingwood for Hawthorn. Ginnivan played in the Magpies' grand final triumph in 2023, but just weeks later he was shown the door and ended up at the Hawks.

The forward fell out of favour at Collingwood in 2023, and was brought back into the fold for the grand final after spending a number of weeks as the sub. He fell foul of McRae on the eve of the grand final when he was spotted at the races the night before the big game, and the coach expressed his displeasure at the young gun's decision afterwards.

Jack Ginnivan and Craig McRae.
Jack Ginnivan has detailed the exit conversation he had with Collingwood coach Craig McRae. Image: Channel 7/Getty

Last week Ginnivan revealed that the backlash he received for attending the races at Moonee Valley was the catalyst for him leaving Collingwood, and on Wednesday night he revealed some of what McRae said to him during his last conversation with the coach. Ginnivan revealed he was holidaying in Bali when he had his exit phone call with McRae.

“It was a difficult exit meeting to hear,” Ginnivan said on Channel 7 program 'Talking Footy'. “Words of ‘not being humble’, which I took to heart a bit, because I think I’m a pretty humble person. When you hear things like that from your ex-coach, it becomes a bit of writing on the wall."

Jack Ginnivan, pictured here in action for Hawthorn against Collingwood.
Jack Ginnivan in action for Hawthorn against Collingwood.

Ginnivan also hinted that McRae had criticised his performance in the grand final. “Obviously I didn’t play my best game in the grand final. It was a hard preparation for me...I played one game in five weeks," he said. “I thought my preparation couldn’t have been any better - I was just unlucky with three sub games (in the lead-up to the grand final).

“The trade period is so close (to the end of the season) because we won the grand final, so it was only two or three weeks (before the trade). The phone calls were happening when I was in Bali and then it all happened. It’s such a weird thing (to get traded) when you win a grand final, but ultimately now, I couldn’t be happier at the Hawks, and I’ve loved my time there so far.”

Jack Ginnivan would do things differently if he could

Ginnivan admitted he wouldn't attend the races if he had his time over again, but said he couldn't understand why it created such controversy. “The only thing that I regret from going to the races is if it affected anyone else pre-game, or if it affected the coaches or players,” he said.

“For me personally, I didn’t think it was that big of an issue for myself because I knew, wherever I was, whether I was out for dinner, with a mate, if I was at home sitting on the couch, I’d be doing the same thing. For me to get out, talk to some people and relax before the game was (what I needed).”


McRae previously criticised Ginnivan's actions leading into the decider, saying: "I'm really determined for us to be really humble...and we want to be winners. I don't know if a winner goes to the races the night before (a grand final).

"We're all different and if that makes you the best player you can be, go to the races. But I don't want to be an old school coach or anything like that. Would it survive the pub test? Are you setting yourself up to be the best version of yourself for tomorrow?"