North applauds aggressive Horne-Francis

·2-min read

North Melbourne coach David Noble is thrilled his No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis is flying the flag for the rebuilding Kangaroos.

But Noble has dismissed suggestions the teenager was standing up to Carlton rivals when other teammates were not willing to.

Horne-Francis, who was finally rewarded with a Rising Star nomination this week, remonstrated twice with Blues players during North's 50-point loss last Saturday night.

The 18-year-old has been lauded for how he handled himself with Jack Silvagni after the Blues tall gave Horne-Francis some choice words following a late hit.

Noble believed the young midfielder has always had a controlled aggression about his game.

"That's what attracted to us about Jason as the number one pick," Noble said.

"We saw a fair bit of that when he was playing at South (Adelaide).

"There were a few teams that tried to tough him up over there.

"We liked the fact he was prepared to stand his ground, but what I loved about it was the next contest he went after the ball and put his mitts on the ball again.

"That's what you want as a coach, fly the flag but don't give up possession of the ball.

"They (Horne-Francis' teammates) were there, he wasn't on his own."

Horne-Francis confirmed most of what Silvagni yelled at him during the fiery altercation, just leaving out some expletives.

"(Silvangi) just said that we weren't very good and I wasn't very good but it was a lot of heat of the moment and didn't take anything to heart," Horne-Francis said.

"It's just in my nature, sticking up for my teammates, it's something I love doing and I think a lot of it was just heat of the moment but that's something that comes naturally.

"For me that's just how I want to be playing week in, week out."

Horne-Francis gathered 20 possessions in his seventh-straight AFL game since debuting in round one, as North slumped to a 1-6 record ahead of Friday night's clash with red-hot Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting