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Opportunity knocks for fringe Tigers


Terry Wallace is intrigued to see how a number of fringe Richmond players settle into the side in the club’s time of need.

The Tigers have called up nine players for Sunday’s clash with Sydney at the Gabba, namely Callum Coleman-Jones, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith, Ivan Soldo, Jack Graham, Jack Ross, Marlion Pickett, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Ryan Garthwaite and Shai Bolton, with the extended bench still to be chopped to four.

Five dual premiership players including injured trio Trent Cotchin, Dion Prestia and Toby Nankervis plus Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards, who have opted to stay in Melbourne rather than go to their Gold Coast hub, come out of the side in what is a major blow to the reigning premiers.

However, former Tigers coach Wallace is excited to see how the new blood performs for Damien Hardwick who will be looking for them to slot into the structures that have served the club so well over the past three seasons.

“Most of those guys we know of, Richmond fans would know of them, absolutely,” Wallace said on SEN’s The Match Committee.

“General fans mightn’t know much about Eggmolesse-Smith and a few of the others that are coming in, Collier-Dawkins etcetera.

“Most of those names have been around the footy club the last couple of years, have been part of their very successful VFL premiership side last year, have been dying and waiting for opportunities but senior blokes have stood in their way.”

The AFL Hall of Famer highlighted the way inexperienced youngsters Noah Balta and Mabior Chol along with debutant Jake Aarts helped spark Richmond in last weekend’s much-needed victory over Melbourne.

“Last week I thought Noah Balta was an absolute bonus coming in. He gave them a real boost,” Wallace added.

“I thought young Aarts did his job. I thought Chol gave them some real spark.

“There’s a heck of a lot of them (new players), I know and understand that, but there’s still enough ability in that side and the way that they play, the structures, still should be the same.

“It’s going to be fascinating to see them come up against another inexperienced Sydney side.

“Can they do it with that many out? It’s going to be really, really interesting.”

The Tigers, who currently sit 11th on the ladder with a 2-1-2 record, have won their last nine matches at the Gabba dating back to 2005 while the Swans have won six of their last seven at the venue, all against the Lions.


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