DOB: 18 October 1984
Debut: Round 19, 2003 against Geelong at MCG
Last MFC Match: Round 23, 2012 against Fremantle at Subiaco
From: South Augusta/North Adelaide, Selection #26, 2002 National Draft
Number: 27 (2003-2012)
Rising Star Nominee - Round 3, 2004 vs Western Bulldogs
Rising Star Winner - 2004
Mark of the Year nominee - Round 13, 2004
Life Member - 2015
Games: 150 (194 total)
Statistical categories led:
Equal most games in jumper 27
Recruited by SANFL side North Adelaide after impressing against senior players in the Spencer Gulf League, the defender represented his state at the 2001 National Under 18 Championship. He missed the 2002 edition with a wrist injury, but had impressed enough during the year to be drafted in the second round of the 2002 National Draft.
After playing the last three games of 2003, Rivers had a breakout 2004 season, playing every game as an important part of Melbourne's defence. He was rewarded with the league's Rising Star award, receiving maximum votes from all eight judges. Rivers struggled to maintain the same standard in 2005, and a broken hand in Round 17 ended his season. He was available for the last two games of the year and the Elimination Final but couldn't break back into the side. He returned to form in 2006, one of the side's key defenders in another finals season. His career was then derailed by Osteitis Pubis, restricting him to nine games in 2007 and 2008.
Rivers recovered to play 20 games in 2009 and was elevated to the leadership group at the end of the year. Despite being dropped after Round 1 he bounced back to play every game from round 6 onwards. In his third straight year without serious injury, Rivers played 20 of 22 games in 2011 and finished second in that year's Best and Fairest.
The loss of Mitch Clark to serious injury left the Demons without tall forward options in the second half of 2012, prompting Mark Neeld to use Rivers as a forward. After kicking just five goals in his career - and only one in the previous five years - he added 13 to his tally during the year. At the end of the season he took advantage of free agency to join Geelong. After missing almost four months of the season with injury he played in their finals campaign. Rivers played another 22 games in 2014, and 12 in 2015 before retiring and joining Collingwood as a development coach. From 2017 to 2019 he coached the Magpies' VFL side before joining North Melbourne as defensive coach for 2020. In 2021 he coached amateur club Collegians.
|Round 8, 2005||Striking||2 matches|
|Elimination Final 2006||Wrestling||$900 fine|
|Round 5, 2009||Umpire Contact||$2600 fine|
|2012 Practice Match vs Port Adelaide||Wrestling||$1200 fine|
2003 player profile
melbournefc.com.au - 18/10/2012
afl.com.au - 05/11/2016
nmfc.com.au - 12/09/2019
RSN.net.au - 08/04/2021
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