In the wake of tonight’s opening match against Carlton, Richmond will be without some of their key players through injury. Brett Deledio, Ivan Maric Shaun Grigg ruled themselves out of the match this week, joining Chris Yarran and Reece Conca on the sidelines.
Deledio has a leg problem which may see him out longer than this week. Maric withdrew due to back soreness but the club expects him to be back next game. Grigg injured his hand during the last NAB challenge match against Port Adelaide while Yarran and Conca are still out for another couple of months with foot and hamstring injuries. There is also an injury cloud over Shane Edwards after injuring his collarbone in the last NAB challenge match but has been named to play tonight.
It is not what Richmond needed heading into the season with plenty to prove after yet another elimination final loss last season. This is a great opportunity for some of the youngsters like Connor Menadue, Corey Ellis and first year player Daniel Rioli to step up and fill the void.
Carlton will feel like they have a chance to win and so they should with new coach, Brendon Bolton and some new players. A round 1 win would boast Carlton’s morale and inject confidence into the players and coaches and could put them in good stead for the season ahead.
It will be an interesting game to watch to see how Richmond can play without some of their key players and how Carlton will respond after finishing bottom last season.