Axed Rioli told to reinvent his AFL game
Three-time AFL premiership forward Daniel Rioli is no longer in Richmond's best team and will be trialled at half-back as he attempts to win back his spot in the senior side.
Rioli has been on the fringe of the Tigers' best 22 this season, kicking nine goals in 10 starts and two substitute appearances, and was sent to play in the VFL during last week's AFL bye.
He will remain in the reserves for Saturday's game against Sandringham while the Tigers' AFL side take on St Kilda at the MCG on Friday night.
"Daniel's a really important player to us but we also want him to become the player we think he can be," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said.
"He's played a really diligent role across that half-forward line but we want to broaden his horizons, so he'll play some half-back on the weekend to give us some run and carry.
"He's an incredible talent. We've just got to make sure, me especially, we get the very best out of Daniel."
In May, Rioli was left nursing a black eye and teammate Shai Bolton a broken wrist after a nightclub incident, but the 24-year-old held his spot in the side as Richmond threw their support behind both players.
Hardwick said the move to half-back was an "exciting" prospect for Rioli after 107 games as a small forward, urging the highly-skilled goal-sneak to develop a more rounded game.
"The game consistently challenges us to change, so Daniel's got to change with it," Hardwick said.
"We're excited about the prospect of what he could become behind the ball.
"He can run, he can kick it, he can dispose of it really well, so it's going to be one step back to take two steps forward."
Hardwick said Marlion Pickett will be trialled at half-forward against the Saints after playing a variety of roles in his 32 AFL games for the Tigers.
The 29-year-old was a capable goal-kicker from the midfield with WAFL club South Fremantle before being selected by Richmond in the 2019 mid-season draft.
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