MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 19: Tilly Lucas-Rodd of the Saints looks on during the 2022 AFLW Round 07 match between the Carlton Blues and the St Kilda Saints at Ikon Park on February 19, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Hawthorn are reportedly on the cusp of signing one of the AFLW's up-and-coming talents in young Saints midfielder Tilly Lucas-Rodd.

As reported by Womens.afl, Lucas-Rodd was identified by the Hawks as a key target for their inaugural list build after her surprise top 10 finish in the AFLW best and fairest, with the Hawks seeking to poach the hard-nosed onballer from the struggling Saints as part of their expansion signing spree.

The loss of Lucas-Rodd is a massive blow to the Saints, who can ill-afford to lose any more talent, having already lost stars Georgia Patrikios (indefinite leave) and Tyanna Smith (ACL).

Fortunately for St Kilda, they have already looked to bolster their list this off-season, eyeing promising Carlton forward Nicola Stevens, while West Coast's Grace Kelly has also been linked to the Saints.

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The Hawks, meanwhile, are poised to announce a raft of signings, with Lucas-Rodd likely to add to the signatures of Eliza Shannon, Tegan Cunningham, Bridget Deed and a handful of others.

They aren't the only expansion club making waves as well. Essendon have been extremely busy ahead of their debut season in the AFLW, having already poached Madison Prespakis and Georgia Gee from rivals Carlton.

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In further good news, and as "an excellent reflection of Essendon's VFLW program", the club has announced on Friday that four Bombers VFLW players have committed to signing with the club for their first AFLW season.

Federica Frew, Joanne Doonan, Danielle Marshall and Jordan Zanchetta will all sign for Essendon once the official AFLW Sign and Trade Period begins.

The quartet represent a great mix for the Bombers, having plenty of AFLW experience between them. Marshall is the first American to play AFLW and has 10 games to her name with the Western Bulldogs, while Doonan, originally from Ireland, has previously played for Carlton.

Zanchetta, who previously played for the Brisbane Lions for four seasons, also adds to the Bombrs' maiden campaign in the competition.

With the AFLW's official Sign and Trade Period quickly approaching, the circus is in full swing and only likely to generate more news in the coming weeks.