Rhyce Shaw (born 16 October 1981) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Collingwood Football Club and Sydney Swans in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Shaw, son of former Collingwood captain Ray was drafted to Collingwood in the 1999 AFL Draft under the father-son rule at pick no.18. He made his debut late in 2000 because of a broken collarbone, he was impressive with 16 kicks, but his form disappeared and was dropped weeks later. Shaw had suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome as a junior and carried it into his AFL career. His skills were ordinary, but his pace was an asset as a wingman. In 2001 and 2002 he only managed 1 senior game, but managed to be retained on the list. In 2003 Rhyce had experienced an improved season, and played 19 games. He wore Bob Rose's number 22 with pride, his heart on his sleeve, and when Rose's death in mid-2003 came about Shaw was a very emotional man, sporting his guernsey with initials B.R above the number. Shaw however had a nightmare finish to the season in the Grand Final against the Brisbane Lions. In one of the more infamous highlights of any Grand Final, he fumbled the ball, slipped and fell over at a crucial moment in the game, only to have an opposing player, Alastair Lynch, gain possession of the ball and kick a goal.
In 2004 he played 16 games, but could not manage to play consistent footy, and he averaged under 10 touches per game. His slight late season form kept him at the club once again, but pondered thoughts of why into fans heads. 2005 however was a turning point for Shaw as he provided better skills on show and performed consistently. In the first 6 games he was averaging over 23 touches a game, including a career best 32 on The ANZAC Day clash against Essendon, before being stretchered off the field concussed. Mid-season he would rupture his ACL and require a knee reconstruction, missing the rest of the season. He bought up a long-awaited 50th game in Round 11.
He returned mid-2006 and played 9 games, playing a similar brand of football of his improved 2005 season. He averaged just under 20 touches, and spent time in the VFL to gain back his best football touch. Shaw's 2007 season started off with a bang, with All-Australian form in the opening six rounds, before coaches applied more attention to Rhyce, and brother Heath. He averaged 23 disposals a game and more than 8 marks in that period. A hamstring injury, where he would be a late withdrawal for the Queen's Birthday match against Melbourne saw him miss five games and six weeks on the sidelines. He would return through the before breaking back into the side for four of the last five home and away games, with form not up to standard. He would be emergency for the finals on two occasions.
Rhyce played a successful role that es tablished him the backline or winger due to his pace in the 2008 season. He averaged 22 possessions a game in the first half of the season but slumped to a calf injury which prevented him from lining up in the team in the following weeks. He was named emergencies in most of the matches at the end of the home and away season. At the conclusion of the 2008 AFL season Rhyce requested to move up north due to his part earlier in 2008, where he was involved with brother Heath and teammate Alan Didak in a drink driving offence. Rhyce Shaw was traded to the Sydney Swans with pick 61 from Collingwood which Collingwood received pick 46 in the AFL Draft. The trade was made official on the 10 October 2008.
Sydney Swans (2009–2015)
His move to the Swans revitalised his career, with his run off the half back line proving extremely potent. His contribution and value to the team was acknowledged by Shaw being officially named as part of the Swans leadership team.
In 2009, Shaw played the best football of his career as a running half back/back pocket player in the Swans' defence. He capped off a wonderful year by finishing 2nd in the Bob Skilton Medal to Ryan O'Keefe.
In 2010, Shaw began to stagnate somewhat experiencing a deterioration in his disposal efficiency playing off half back. His form seemed to be stunted by the return of Tadhg Kennelly to the Swans' half back line and Nick Malceski returning to the best 22 after a few years in the wilderness. In the 2nd half of the year, however, a move to the forward line seemed to reinvigorate Shaw. He kicked 2 late goals against North Melbourne to seal a win for the side and then kicked 3 goals the next week against Carlton in a very polished performance. Shaw was later moved into the middle to tag the opposition's best players and did so to good effect. He played on and limited the influence of players such as Marc Murphy, Dan Giansiracusa and Stephen Hill.
Shaw enjoyed perhaps the best season of his career in 2011, culminating in him finishing equal 2nd in the Skilton Medal with Josh Kennedy (behind Adam Goodes). He combined tight defensive and tagging with strong rebound and run throughout the year to become one of the most consistent and well performed Swans for the season. He was also awarded the Best Clubman Award for 2011.
Shaw followed up his strong 2011 season with another consistent display in the side's premiership winning year. He was deployed as the Swans' main defensive rebounder whilst also proving to be a tight and strong small defender.
Shaw played his 200th AFL game in Round 7, 2014, as the Sydney Swans upset the Brisbane Lions by 79 points at the Gabba.
He announced in August 2015 that he would retire at the end of the season.
Rhyce is the son of former captain Ray Shaw, and brother of Heath. He is also the nephew of premiership captain and Norm Smith Medallist, Tony Shaw and former Collingwood player Neville Shaw. His cousin, Brayden (son of Tony) was drafted to Collingwood, but failed to play a game before being delisted in 2005.
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