Shaw will move home after a decade at the Sydney Swans as a player and coach.

“Rhyce will bring a wealth of experience,” North GM football Cameron Joyce said. "He spent his career as a valuable defender and has had the past twelve months with the Swans' back six, so we expect him to transition into the role very smoothly."

Shaw was recently put in charge of the Sydney backline after two successful seasons as coach of the club's NEAFL side.

He was awarded the AFL Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year accolade in 2017.

"Rhyce's record speaks for itself and he led the Swan's NEAFL side to consecutive minor premierships and two grand finals," Joyce added.

Shaw played 94 games with Collingwood from 2000 to 2008 before requesting a trade to Sydney. He went on to play 143 games with the Swans from 2009 and was a member of the side's 2012 premiership team.

Following his retirement as a player in 2015, Shaw moved into a coaching role and was named the NEAFL's Coach of the Year in his first season.

Shaw's appointment follows the recent departure of Josh Drummond.

Swans Head of Football Tom Harley thanked Shaw for his contribution and wished him and his family all the best with the move back home.

“From the moment Rhyce arrived at the Club, he made an immediate and long-lasting impact,” Harley said.

“He was the ultimate teammate on and off the field, a leader of our backline, and a premiership player before making a seamless transition into coaching.

“On behalf of everyone at the Swans, we’d like to thank Rhyce for his valuable contribution and wish him, Lia, Freddie and Louis all the best with the move home to Melbourne.”

Shaw says it’s with mixed emotions he returns home to Melbourne.

“It’s bittersweet to be farewelling the footy club that‘s given me everything – from a second chance at footy, to a premiership, to the opportunity to learn and grow alongside some of the best mentors in the league,” Shaw said.

“Ultimately, however, after 10 years away from home, my desire to be closer to family has become too great.

“I‘m deeply grateful to the Sydney Swans players, coaches and staff for all the fantastic memories we have shared and all the support they’ve provided throughout my career – and I now look forward to a new chapter in Melbourne.”