Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has shrugged off a hamstring complaint to be fit for the Tigers’ final practice match against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium today.
As late as Monday, Cotchin was not sure if he would be able to take on the Kangaroos because of the injury.
But having missed Richmond’s first two NAB Challenge games, the star midfielder will head into the highly anticipated season opener against Carlton on April 2 with some competitive match practice under his belt.
Coach Damien Hardwick envisaged Cotchin would play three quarters against North Melbourne.
Joining Cotchin as inclusions in Richmond’s strong 27-man squad are Ben Griffiths and David Astbury, who will play his first official match since round nine last year, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
North Melbourne will also field a strong side, with senior players Daniel Wells, Nick Dal Santo and Shaun Higgins all returning after sitting out the Kangas’ clash with Hawthorn a fortnight ago.
Jarrad Waite will, however, be rested to allow North to continue tinkering with the forward setup.
Coach Brad Scott said Waite had played the first two trial games and his absence provides another opportunity to assess 192 cms Mason Wood, who has played one AFL game.
“We’re trying to shuffle our forward line a little bit to work out the best mix. Most teams will probably treat this week as a bit of a dressing rehearsal and we’re no different in some regards, but we still need to manage loads,’’ Scott said.
2. Dylan Grimes, 3. Brett Deledio, 4. Dustin Martin, 5. Brandon Ellis, 6. Shaun Grigg, 8. Jack Riewoldt, 9. Trent Cotchin, 10. Shane Edwards, 11. Jake Batchelor, 12. David Astbury, 13. Ricky Pettard, 14. Bachar Houli, 18. Alex Rance, 20. Ivan Maric, 22. Nathan Gordon, 24. Ben Griffiths, 25. Troy Chaplin, 27. Sam Lloyd, 28. Taylor Hunt, 29. Tyrone Vickery, 30. Reece Conca, 31. Nick Vlastuin, 33. Kamdyn McIntosh, 35. Ben Lennon, 36. Matt McDonough, 38. Steven Morris, 48. Kane Lambert
2. Brad McKenzie, 3. Ryan Bastinac, 4. Shaun Higgins, 5. Ben Jacobs, 7. Jack Ziebell, 8. Daniel Wells, 9. Andrew Swallow, 10. Ben Cunnington, 11. Michael Firrito,12. Lindsay Thomas, 13. Leigh Adams, 15. Nick Dal Santo, 16. Scott Thompson, 18. Shaun Atley, 19. Sam Wright, 20. Drew Petrie, 21. Luke McDonald, 22. Todd Goldstein, 25. Robbie Tarrant, 29. Brent Harvey, 32. Mason Wood, 34. Jamie MacMillan, 35. Aaron Black, 36. Joel Tippett, 40. Kayne Turner, 43. Sam Gibson, 50. Ben Brown
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