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Have the Tigers made their intentions clear with Tarrant pursuit?


Could Richmond challenge again in 2022?

The Tigers fell to 12th on the ladder this season following three premierships in four years, but have quickly made their intentions clear for next season.

With news that Robbie Tarrant has informed North Melbourne he hopes to join the Tigers as an unrestricted free agent, it shows that perhaps the 2017, 2019 and 2020 premiers are planning to pursue more success.

On Sportsday, Matthew Lloyd posed the question to Sam McClure regarding Richmond’s intentions.

Lloyd said: “The Robbie Tarrant move to Richmond, do you see that as North messing him around and he says I’m leaving?

“Or a player who says if I’m any chance of success, I’ve just got to take this and go to Richmond, potentially with a year left to have a crack at it.”

Sam McClure says the Tigers have made an experienced key defender a priority to replace the retired David Astbury, even asking the quesiton of former Giants co-captain Phil Davis along with reported interest in departed Adelaide veteran Daniel Talia.

“I thinks it’s the latter,” he said in response to Lloyd.

“They were clearly looking at Daniel Talia. I think they’ve asked the question around Phil Davis, who’s got a really weird situation surrounding his supposed contract at GWS. Trying to work that one out.

“But clearly they’ve arrived on Tarrant. They needed some help down back.”

In response to that discussion, Gerard Healy has endorsed Richmond’s pursuit of Tarrant despite him entering his 13th season.

“It’s a big pick-up,” said the Brownlow Medallist.

“Robbie Tarrant is one of the best defenders the game has seen for a decade. He’s been playing in one of the worst sides of the last decade.

“He hasn’t been carried along with momentum, but if you wanted to pick up a bloke even at his age and stick him into a potential premiership side, I think he’s a fair way ahead of the other two (Talia and Davis).”

Healy is confident that Damien Hardwick’s side is still right in the window to challenge for another flag.

McClure asked: “Do you think that Richmond are a genuine chance of winning the flag next year?”

Healy replied: “I do, why wouldn’t they be?

“They had a poor year, they were entitled to have a poor year, Dusty (Martin) had an average year by his own standards. He started brilliantly.

“I thought they dropped right off in various areas, they probably lost a little bit of hunger, they got some injuries, lost a bit of focus.

“Nothing will sharpen them up more than missing out on finals like this. I think there’s at least another crack left in that group.”

Richmond will get Noah Balta and Nathan Broad back in 2022 after serious ankle injuries ended their 2021 season prematurely. They will return to defence alongside Dylan Grimes and Nick Vlastuin.

Ryan Garthwaite, 23, has played 14 games in five seasons while Ben Miller, 22, is also on the list as a key defensive option but has played just one AFL game.

Alongside Astbury, the Tigers also lost Bachar Houli to retirement and appear to be looking to replenish their experienced stocks while the likes of Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Shane Edwards remain on the list.


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