Speedy Gold Coast SUNS key defender Mac Andrew has been announced as the Round 20 Rising Star nominee.

Andrew makes history as the first player of South Sudanese heritage to be nominated for the AFL Rising Star.

Andrew had 14 disposals, seven marks (three contested) and 340 metres-gained in the Gold Coast SUNS' 41-point victory against the Brisbane Lions in the QClash.

This follows an impressive performance in Round 19 against the GWS GIANTS, where he had 16 disposals and eight marks.

Andrew becomes the second Gold Coast SUNS player to be nominated for the Rising Star award this year, joining Bailey Humphrey who was nominated in Round 9.

He played four games in his debut season and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension before he made his debut. This season, he has played 13 games.

Andrew was born in Egypt before relocating to Australia in 2005, where he started playing Australian rules football with Wantrina South and later with Berwick Football Club.

He was drafted from the Dandenong Stingrays with the fifth selection in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft.

In his draft year, Andrew earned selection in the All Australian Under 18s team and was named in the NAB League (now Coates Talent League) Team of the Year.

2023 AFL Rising Star nominees:

Round One - Harry Sheezel (North Melbourne)

Round Two - Will Ashcroft (Brisbane Lions)

Round Three - Reuben Ginbey (West Coast Eagles)

Round Four - Mitchito Owens (St Kilda)

Round Five - Max Michalanney (Adelaide Crows)

Round Six - Jai Culley (West Coast Eagles)

Round Seven - Finn Callaghan (GWS GIANTS)

Round Eight - Mattaes Phillipou (St Kilda)

Round Nine - Bailey Humphrey (Gold Coast SUNS)

Round 10 - Josh Weddle (Hawthorn)

Round 11 - Jye Amiss (Fremantle)

Round 12 - Jacob Van Rooyen (Melbourne)

Round 13 - George Wardlaw (North Melbourne)

Round 14 - Darcy Wilmot (Brisbane Lions)

Round 15 - Angus Sheldrick (Sydney Swans)

Round 16 - Luke Pedlar (Adelaide Crows)

Round 17 - Seamus Mitchell (Hawthorn)

Round 18 - Judd McVee (Melbourne)

Round 19 - Jaspa Fletcher (Brisbane Lions)

Round 20 - Mac Andrew (Gold Coast SUNS)