Collingwood has made three further changes to its AFL list ahead of the 2020 national draft, releasing midfielder Rupert Wills and defender Flynn Appleby and formalising the retirement of Dayne Beams.

A Collingwood premiership player, Beams has officially stepped away from football after 12 seasons at the highest level.

A best and fairest winner with Collingwood and Brisbane, the 30 year-old has been unable to take the field since round 11 of the 2019 season due to a combination of physical and mental health issues.

With a settlement reached on the remaining two years of his contract with Collingwood, Beams has been able to make official his retirement.

“Some time ago it became apparent to me that the demands of the game, which for many years I thrived on, were not helping my recovery,” Beams said.

“Once I understood this it was easier to put my wellbeing and that of my family first. I am a father to two lovely children and a husband to Kelly, who I owe so much to.

“Challenges remain. That’s life. But with experience, understanding and the help of many people I am in a stronger position to deal with them.

“I have many team-mates and staff at Collingwood to thank for helping me through a particularly tough time. The club’s understanding, patience and care were always there and the fact we were able to come to a mutual agreement is important to me.

“Many at Brisbane also shared and supported me through my journey. I thank the Lions.

“And to Kelly, the kids and my family - I am full of love and admiration for all of you.”  

Beams leaves the game having played 177 matches – 119 for Collingwood and 58 for Brisbane.

He won a premiership, in 2010, in just his 43rd match and would win a Copeland Trophy and All-Australian honours in 2012 before seeking a move back to his native Queensland at the end of the 2014 season.

Beams was drafted out of Queensland (Southport) with pick 29 in the 2008 national draft.

He played four seasons with the Lions, whom he captained in 2017-2018, and was a joint-winner of the Merrett-Murray medal in his first season with the club. Across his 12 seasons, Beams finished top three in best and fairest counts on five occasions.

A return to Collingwood followed at the end of the 2018 season but it was not to be the home-coming expected. Beams managed nine matches in 2019 before a break that was at first thought to be temporary needed to become permanent.

 “Dayne can be proud of his career, which was a very good one, and the head high manner in which he has left the game,” Collingwood GM of Football, Geoff Walsh, said.

“With the support of many people, not least his wife Kelly, Dayne has been able to meet a number of challenges that he has been very public about and which, ultimately, curtailed his career.

“His days of playing for Collingwood are over but his connection to the club is not. He is written into the pages of the club’s history as a premiership player and Copeland Trophy winner.

“We wish him and his family the very best for a healthy and happy next phase of their lives.”

Wills played 23 matches across five seasons as a Magpie after being selected with pick 63 in the 2015 national draft. The 27 year-old’s last match, one of eight in 2020, was against Melbourne at the Gabba in round 12.

Appleby played 11 matches for the club in three seasons, after being selected in the 2017 rookie draft. The 21 year-old played one match in 2020, against North Melbourne at the Gabba in round 13.

“Collingwood thanks Rupert and Flynn for their dedication, persistence and great character. Both experienced tough luck with injuries and endured extended periods out of the game but fought their way back,” Walsh, said.

“It was a credit to them and we wish them well. They are made of good stuff.”