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Dustin Martin has been ruled out of Richmond’s first round AFL clash retired Captain Trent Cotchin was hired by the Brisbane Lions to pass on his leadership skills. The Lions failed at the final hurdle last year, In the final they lost by four points against Collingwoodexpand their AFL The dry spell to the premiere title lasted two decades.

The three-time flag-winning captain will work alongside the Lions’ leadership group, which includes co-captains Lachie Neale and Harris Andrews, vice-captains Hugh McCluggage and Josh Dunkley, as well as Charlie Cameron, Cam Rayner, Brandon Starcevich, Jarrod Berry and Oscar McInerney. Cotchin, 33, was present at training at the Lions Gabba on Tuesday, where it was confirmed he will be on board for the new season.

Trent Cotchin will work closely with the Brisbane Lions' leadership group as they chase the elusive championship in 2024, while his former club Richmond Tigers suffered an early setback with Dustin Martin uncertain for the Tigers' opening match against the Suns. Image: GettyTrent Cotchin will work closely with the Brisbane Lions' leadership group as they chase the elusive championship in 2024, while his former club Richmond Tigers suffered an early setback with Dustin Martin uncertain for the Tigers' opening match against the Suns. Image: Getty

Trent Cotchin will work closely with the Brisbane Lions’ leadership group as they chase the elusive championship in 2024, while his former club Richmond Tigers have suffered a major blow with Dustin Martin ruled out for the Tigers’ opening match against the Suns. Image: Getty

Lions chief executive Greg Swann confirmed Cotchin – who retired last year after playing 306 games for the Tigers – will attend the Melbourne games and fly to Brisbane “once or twice a month”. “Everyone is looking for a little edge and hopefully with his input … he can give our senior leaders some good advice,” Swann said. “He’s a three-time championship-winning captain, so he knows what it takes to win. His role is to get us from almost there to there.”

“We think we’re in good form. There’s a lot of hunger there. We’ve had a taste of it (playing in the grand final) before and I think these guys want to give it another go but at the end of the day to get their hands on the (premiership) trophy but there’s still a long way to go.” Richmond fans were devastated to see their beloved club legend in the Lions colours just months after he ended his illustrious playing career.

Dustin Martin is out for the Tigers’ game against the Suns

Richmond announced on Thursday that they will be without Dustin Martin for their season opener against the Gold Coast Suns after he sustained an injury in training. Martin underwent a precautionary scan on Tuesday and his condition was normal. However, with Richmond facing the Gold Coast on Saturday and Carlton five days later, it was too early for the Tigers to risk the 32-year-old.

Tigers coach Adem Yze said it was simply “too risky” to let him play. “He’s obviously a little sore,” Yze said Thursday. “The risk of him playing this weekend is too high.”

“He’s too important for us to really go up there and play in round zero. All of these things are factored into the calculation. Knowing him, he would be really worried and angry about not playing because he loves the game.”

“Regardless of whether he plays against Gold Coast, it’s round one and he wants to start. But we just have to be very smart (with Martin).” Martin will miss round one along with Tom Lynch (foot) and captain Toby Nankervis (plantar fasciitis). He played 20 games last year after being limited to nine and 16 games respectively in 2022 and 2021.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 19: Trent Cotchin of the Tigers leaves the field after playing his final game during the Round 23 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 19, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 19: Trent Cotchin of the Tigers leaves the field after playing his final game during the Round 23 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 19, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Trent Cotchin retired at the end of 2023 after leading the Tigers to three championships.

Damien Hardwick’s reunion won’t be frosty, say Richmond stars

Tigers vice-captain Liam Baker says there will be no bad blood between Tigers players and Damien Hardwick ahead of the highly anticipated first round clash. Hardwick left the Tigers abruptly in the middle of the AFL season last year, saying he had done all he could for the club and needed a break. The three-time premiership coach signed a six-year contract to coach the Gold Coast Suns just months later.

Both Dion Prestia and Baker dismissed suggestions that the reunion with Hardwick would be a frosty affair. “I don’t think so – it’s not the ’80s anymore,” Prestia said. “We’re up there to try and win the game, so we’re not going to be too friendly with him. But it would be business as usual.”

The Tigers expect the Suns to bring the tough, pressure-oriented style that brought Richmond three championships under Hardwick. “We probably know exactly what they want to do because we did it for eight years,” Prestia said.

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“And everything we saw was pretty similar to what we’re used to. I’m so excited to go up there and play.”

with AAP

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