Jon Ceglar is repaying the faith.

Towards the end of the 2019 season, Alastair Clarkson, known for his outside-the-box thinking, threw a curveball at the Hawks on-field make-up.

Ben McEvoy, a ruckman for the first 12 years of his career, was to move into defence, causing Ceglar to carry the ruck burden single-handedly.

With both players involved performing strongly in the final few games of last year, the Hawks coaching group saw no need to reverse these plans over the off-season.

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Three games in to this new season, McEvoy is looking increasingly comfortable in defence, having had just one goal kicked on him in the past two weeks, while Ceglar is posting some of the best numbers of his career.

These numbers include career-highs of 25.7 hit-outs, eight contested possessions and 4.3 clearances, which is nearly two more than his next best season average. 

The 29-year-old's seven clearances against Richmond was three more than the next-most on the ground - more than Trent Cotchin and Dion Prestia's tallies combined.

His ability to take a contested mark around the ground or get involved in the Hawks ball movement means opposition sides cannot simply ignore Ceglar post-stoppage.

He can also hurt you on the scoreboard, as seen last Thursday night when he laid a bone-crunching tackle deep in the Hawks forward 50 which resulted him converting from a free kick.

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R3: Big man gets low

Ceglar got low and was rewarded with a free kick for this tackle and made sure the conversion was good.

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This weekend one of the tougher ruck assignments awaits Ceglar, North Melbourne's Todd Goldstein.

A week shy of his 32nd birthday, Goldstein is also putting together an outstanding season, averaging the most hit-outs of anyone in the league and recording the third-most clearances across the competition.