Hardwick Suggests There'll Be Changes To Tigers Line-up
Damien Hardwick has given hope to the likes of Dan Butler and Brandon Ellis, the Richmond coach suggesting he might shuffle his line-up ahead of the preliminary final against Collingwood.
The premiership duo weren't part of the Tigers' side that defeated Hawthorn in the qualifying final, with Butler recovering from an ankle injury and Ellis squeezed out by the return from injury of Kane Lambert.
While Dustin Martin copped a nasty cork against the Hawks, he is expected to play against the Magpies and Hardwick has no other injury concerns.
But the premiership coach still has plenty to ponder ahead of selection.
"With the Hawthorn game our personnel requirements were a little bit different," Hardwick said.
"And the personnel requirements are a little bit different this week against Collingwood.
"(Brandon Ellis), Sam Lloyd, Dan Butler, Connor Menadue, Oleg Markov - all of those guys have been in pretty good form and we've got to pick the best side that we feel will get us the result."
Ellis and Butler appear most likely if changes are to be made.
Ellis impressed in the Tigers' VFL side that bowed out of the finals last week, while Butler has been burning up the training track.
"He was probably (best-on-ground) when we trained on Friday," Hardwick said of Butler.
"He was outstanding and kicked three goals in a little scrimmage we ran, so he certainly gives us a headache with regard to selection this week.
"We're obviously very happy with the side that played against Hawthorn a week-and-a-half ago, but he's put his hand up to play and is ready to go.
"You've got a guy who's probably in your best 22 but hasn't played a lot of football so which way do we go?"
Across Melbourne's Olympic Boulevard, the Magpies are increasingly likely to go unchanged for Friday night's highly-anticipated clash at the MCG.
Talls Darcy Moore (hamstring) and Ben Reid (knee) were knocking on the door, but Nathan Buckley ruled out Moore due to fitness on Wednesday and said others were preferred ahead of Reid.
Jordan De Goey (ankle) and Brayden Sier (thigh) picked up niggles in the semi-final win over GWS, but Buckley declared both will play.