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Hawks, Kangaroos extend AFL deals in Tasmania

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Hawthorn and North Melbourne have inked new one-year deals to play home games in Tasmania as a decision on an AFL club in the state looms in 2022.

The Hawks will host four matches in Launceston next season, after first playing games in the Apple Isle back in 2001. The Kangaroos will also head to Hobart for four games, continuing a relationship that has already spanned 10 seasons.

The Tasmanian government had threatened to take away the lucrative contracts from Hawthorn and North if the AFL kept stalling on making a call about a permanent club in the state.

But the AFL in August committed to taking a decision on the prospect of a new team -- a 19th club -- to the league's 18 presidents in 2022.

An independent report released into the merits of a club in Tasmania declared the state deserves its own team.

Hawthorn and North have traditionally had longer contracts for their matches in Launceston, with the one-year deal potentially pointing to an end of their affiliation with the Tasmanian government from 2023.

"This is great news for our fantastic, loyal Tasmanian members who have shown incredible support to the club for over 21 years," club president Jeff Kennett said. "We are immensely proud of our long-standing association with Tasmania, and the club is thrilled to continue its presence and strong connection with the state for another year.

"The relationship between Tasmania and Hawthorn has spanned more than two decades and over that time the partnership has come to mean a lot to us."

North chief executive Ben Amarfio was also delighted to be back playing in Tasmania.

"We were thrilled to see crowds back at our games at Blundstone Arena this year," Amarfio said. "We had 6,696 members in Tassie this year and with an exciting, emerging playing group coming through under David Noble, we know our members and the broader Tasmanian public will turn out in force again."