After the loss to Port Adelaide last Saturday night, one could assume there would be changes afoot to the Richmond playing group ahead of their match against Hawthorn this Friday night. The two most obvious changes concern covering for the dual midfielder loss of Trent Cotchin and Kane Lambert to untimely injuries. This might give Jayden Short an opportunity to return to the senior team, especially after he starred with 26 disposals, 16 uncontested possessions, six tackles and five inside 50s in the Round 4 VFL loss to Sandringham last Saturday afternoon. It may also see the return of Brandon Ellis to his more traditional position as a midfielder, after he’s been plying his trade on the half-back in recent weeks.
If Brandon Ellis moves back into the midfield, this will not only be to cover for the loss of either Lambert or Cotchin but also because Nick Vlastuin may very well pass a fitness test on his knee in coming days to force his way back into defence. Dylan Grimes also faces a fitness test in coming days on his hamstring tendon, but may end up as an emergency. Another possible change through the midfield could see Connor Menadue omitted from the team that could lead to Kamdyn McIntosh potentially returning to the senior team; despite the fact that he seems to have reinvigorated his game down in defence this season.
Ben Griffiths is another name that has to be in the mix for this Friday night against the Hawks given that Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae said he looks ready for another AFL opportunity. Not only that but Griffths also kicked two goals, had five contested marks, nine marks and 13 disposals in the Round 4 Richmond VFL loss. Although he only returned from injury in Round 6, the likely omission may be Shaun Hampson, who clearly still looked sore last Saturday night. This would give the Tigers the option to play Ivan Maric and Ty Vickery in the ruck with Griffiths up forward with the likes of Jack Riewoldt and Sam Lloyd.
Who do you think makes the Round 7 team?