They’re a happy team at Hawthorn, with coach Sam Mitchell yet to taste defeat and the club sitting top of the AFL ladder.

And Fox Footy analyst Nick Riewoldt believes the club has even more reason to smile, with “their next premiership back six” already recruited.

“Their back six, right now it is a young group, they’ve almost been able to assemble their next premiership back six already,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy’s On The Couch.

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“They’ve done it in fast time as well.

“You get the full experience with (Sam) Frost but he’s a real good lockdown defender when he needs to be.

“(Blake) Hardwick the same, the interceptors in (James) Sicily and (Changkuoth) Jaith. Youth with (Jack) Scrimshaw and (Will) Day coming off the back – I think the Hawthorn back six is just about as diverse a complete back six as you’d want and they’ve got so much growth.”

Hawthorn Hawks press conference | 05:30

After just two rounds, statistics show three of the Hawthorn back six are rated elite for intercept possessions.

Frost (10.5), Sicily (8.0) and Scrimshaw (7.5) are also joined by Jaith (7.0) who is rated as above average in the intercepting category.

AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson was also full of praise for the Hawthorn backline.

“Sicily back into that team, he right now might be the All Australian centre half-back,” he said.

“Sicily has slotted in and he’s gone from this sort of upstart, smartass kid to fighting every one to jeez he’s really coming on… now he’s looking like Ross Glendinning at centre half back and he’s just such an influential figure.

“You’ve got CJ (Jaith), Scrimshaw, Frost – they’ve got a lot of good elements.”

New year, same old issues for Port? | 04:32

Robinson said the stunning win over Port Adelaide, after the Round 1 victory over North Melbourne, had filled the players with confidence.

“Once a group of players or individuals know they can do something, it’s called belief. It generates such a buzz within a football club, like nothing is beyond them,” Robinson said.

“They will be itching to get out there (against Carlton in Round 3)… they’re not scared.”

Fox Footy’s Gerard Whateley said the change of coach, from Alastair Clarkson to Sam Mitchell, looked “good” on the club.

“Their leadership was exceptional, their ball movement was dazzling and they fed on their own enjoyment on it like a young team under a new coach,” he said on AFL 360.



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