The race for the 2024 Rising Star honour has become a much tighter fight after the two award favourites were ruled ineligible due to suspension over the weekend.

2024 Pick 1 selection Harley Reid was the clubhouse leader for the award after his scintillating start to life in the AFL, while Western Bulldogs forward Sam Darcy looked to be the only young gun contending with Reid for the title heading into Round 12.

But with both players handed suspensions* for rough conduct, they now find themselves out of the race for the Rising Star Award, with the door now open for several other contenders heading into the second half of the season.

Here we've narrowed that list down to SIX players who stand a good chance to take out the award following the recent curveball.

*Reid and West Coast will challenge the suspension, however are more likely to reduce the ban than have it removed. 



1. George Wardlaw

The second-year Kangaroo entered 2024 as an eligible contender given he played just the eight games in his debut season.

Wardlaw has played all but one game so far this year and has been brilliant for Alastair Clarkson despite the club's winless season so far.

Averaging 17.7 disposals, 4.0 marks, 3.9 tackles and 4.3 clearances per game, Wardlaw is as good a chance as anyone on this list to claim the Rising Star Award should his form continue.

North Melbourne Kangaroos player George Wardlaw against Fremantle in Round 2 of the 2024 AFL season (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

The former Pick 4 selection already has his nomination for the year, having earned the nod in Round 3 after collecting 23 disposals, five clearances and a goal against Fremantle.