Higgins lights up AFL debut with two goals

Jack Higgins of the Tigers. Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

Even before his attention-grabbing AFL debut, Jack Higgins was a cult figure at Richmond.

The Tigers had spoken of Higgins' enthusiasm since recruiting him last year as a first-round pick at No. 17 in the national draft.

Then there was last Wednesday, when Damien Hardwick didn't realise Higgins was well on the way home as the coach put out the word he needed to see the youngster.

No dramas for Higgins -- he spent the better part of an hour driving back to Punt Road, where Hardwick broke the big news of his impending debut.

Come Sunday, it was time for Higgins to show Tigers fans he can play, too.

He joined the exclusive club of "first kick, first goal" when he snapped truly in the first quarter and then went on a big celebration, with teammates mobbing him.

In the third quarter, Richmond were struggling to score when Higgins hit a midair soccer volley in the goalsquare and kicked a miracle goal.

The Tigers capped Higgins' memorable day with the 13-point win over Hawthorn.

"I play a lot of (video game) FIFA with my mates. (I) kicked a nice goal during the week when I was playing and it sort of came in the moment and I kicked it," the 19-year-old said.

"I just got my boot on it and luckily enough it went in. I hit it so sweet. It was unreal."

Higgins had an inkling last Wednesday when the call came through the drive back to the club might be worthwhile.

"I drove back all the way into the club, was stuck in traffic for about 45 minutes, an hour, just getting mad as, blasting the tunes," he said.

"Then I got to the club and (Damien Hardwick) is like, 'Oh, I can't really see you getting a spot this week' and then he just sort of screwed me around.

"Then he's like, 'Nah, mate you're playing this week', and I was over the moon.

"I had the biggest strut going down Punt Road."