Player Honours: NAB AFL Rising Star award nominee 2013.
Brownlow Medal: 2013 votes 1; career votes 1.
Draft History: 2010 17-year-old access selection (Gold Coast)
The No. 1 ruck mantle was up for grabs during the 2015 season, with Tom Nicholls and Zac Smith fighting to lead Gold Coast’s ruck department. But Nicholls’ gutsy performance against West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui undeniably cemented him the title.
Throughout the 2015 season the 23-year-old emerged as one of the premier tackling ruckmen in the AFL, averaging four per game to provide value once the ball hit the ground. Between round four and 20, Nicholls accumulated 15 games in the most prosperous patch of his short career.
Unfortunately for Nicholls, injury struck, ending his season after round 20. Although by that stage of the year, the Victorian had cemented his spot as a premier ruckman at the SUNS.
Nicholls' ability in ruck contests and at ground level is sure to shine once again in season 2016 as he continues to develop as one of the more exciting ruck talents of recent years.