Rioli joins Tigers in AFL draft

Richmond tested the waters before landing their big catch at the AFL draft.

They used pick No.15 to recruit small forward Daniel Rioli, the great nephew of Tigers legend Maurice and the nephew of Hawthorn star Cyril.

But immediately before coach Damien Hardwick announced the Rioli name was returning to Punt Rd after nearly two decades, Richmond tried out the new live bid system.

The Tigers recruited Rioli only after unsuccessful bids for academy players Matthew Kennedy at No.13 and Eric Hipwood at 14.

GWS predictably matched Richmond’s bid to secure Kennedy and Brisbane did the same to ensure they took Hipwood.

The live bids were introduced in an effort to ensure fair value for academy and father-son draft nominations.

“If there was a player who we liked at that pick, we were always going to … try and pick that player, even though the reality was that we weren’t going to get him,” coach Damien Hardwick said of the two unsuccessful draft picks.

“From our point of view, for the integrity of the competition, we thought it was the right thing to do.

“We were sort of hoping one might slip through, (but) it wasn’t the case.

“It (live bidding) adds something to the competition … provided it is done in the right way.”

Then came the straightforward selection that brought Rioli to the Tigers.

It is full of meaning for the Tigers, given Maurice Rioli made a massive impression at Richmond in the 1980s.

“We fully believe Daniel will make his own name at our footy club,” Hardwick said.

“He has a famous uncle, there’s no doubt about that, and we named our social club after him.

“He’ll walk into that and be in awe, obviously, but we feel he’s going to be a wonderful player.”

Hardwick added that Daniel, like Cyril, has a talent that is impossible to define.

“He brings an X-factor to our forward line, he’s quick, he’s dynamic and he kicks goals,” Hardwick said.

“He can see things that a lot of other players can’t, and that’s what makes him special, in a way.

“He just does some things that you look at and go ‘wow’ – you can’t teach.”

The Tigers also recruited Oleg Markov, the son of former pole vault world champion Dmitri, and defender Nathan Broad.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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