Richmond defender Dylan Grimes has indicated that the club’s flag-winning squad is only strengthening in 2021.
The three-time premiership player has identified the developing Tigers who he believes will be pushing the senior players for regular game time.
Grimes believes third-year youngster Jack Ross could be the one to make the move into the midfield after plugging the gaps in 14 games over his first two seasons.
“I really like the look of Jack Ross,” Grimes, who signed a two-year extension on Monday, said on SEN Breakfast.
“He’s played a bit of footy now, maybe a handful of games, and he’s been putting his hand up as a starting mid.
“He’s been getting the ball going in the right direction a lot while he’s been starting in there. His clearance work has been phenomenal and he’s looking really fit.”
Another youngster Grimes is keen on is Ross’ 2018 draft mate Riley Collier-Dawkins who is yet to debut at AFL level after two years on the list.
“Riley’s been training the house down,” Grimes added.
“He probably needed to strip a bit of weight over the last year. He was more of a bigger-bodied mid and we want him to be more of a runner.
“He’s done that and he’s looking the best that he’s ever looked.”
One brand new Tiger that Grimes is looking forward to working alongside is Rhyan Mansell, who last week won a spot on the list via the supplementary selection period.
The 20-year-old defender is already making his presence felt among his new teammates while impressing coach Damien Hardwick in the process.
“He’s a Grimes favourite,” the All-Australian said.
“I really like this kid. He’s really quick, good user, and he’s got that really tough edge that ‘Dimma’ loves.
“I honestly think he’s put his hand right up there as well, which is strange to say for a kid that’s only been there for such a short time.
“Great kid, he sort of fits that Richmond mould really well and a terrific bloke to boot, so I was stoked when he got the opportunity.”
Overall, Grimes expects the players sitting on the fringe to push the starting 22 to the brink this year, as the Tigers prepare for the 2021 season with their first serious hit out against Melbourne this Friday.
“We’ve got some really hungry players who in other years would have definitely played a lot more games than they have,” Grimes said further.
“The team’s been relatively settled and we haven’t had a lot of injuries over the last little block. Considering that there’s some guys who have come back roaring to get their opportunity this year.
“It’s made for some good competition. I was talking to ‘Dimma’ about this the other day, I’ve got no idea how he’s going to do his job come Round 1, or even this week against Melbourne.
“It’s going to be really interesting when crunch time finally happens because there’s a lot of players putting their hand up.”
Following the meeting with the Demons at Casey, the Tigers take on Collingwood in the AAMI Community Series on March 5 before kicking off the new season against Carlton on March 18.