When will Richmond unleash exciting youngster Maurice Rioli Jnr?
Rioli Jnr, the son of the late Richmond and South Fremantle champion Maurice Rioli, is knocking on the door for senior selection with the 19-year-old named an emergency for last week’s win over St Kilda.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick says the small forward isn’t far away from making his AFL debut after a 17-disposal, two-goal outing in the VFL last Friday.
"He just tackles, tackles, tackles, tackles and tackles some more. That's the way a Richmond man plays and that's the way a Richmond forward plays,” Hardwick told reporters.
"I must admit, I thought he'd be a fair way away. But he's not as far away as I thought. He's doing some really exciting things.
“He's got a bit of work to do, there's no doubt, but the steps are there."
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Garry Lyon and Tim Watson discussed whether Richmond would blood Rioli Jnr on Anzac Day Eve against Melbourne.
Lyon: “That would be huge. Will they unleash him on Saturday night?”
Watson: “It’s a big, big game … if they think that he’s ready for the occasion they will.”
Lyon: “They unleashed a bloke called (Marlion) Pickett on the biggest stage of all (Grand Final), so they don’t care about the occasion.
“That would be exciting, I’d love to see that.”
Richmond used pick No.51 to secure Rioli as a father-son selection in last year’s National Draft.
Maurice Jr's cousin Daniel Rioli is a three-time Richmond premiership player.