Tiger Chaplin set for time in AFL attack

Defender Troy Chaplin could become Richmond’s king of swing this season as the Tigers attempt to add extra potency in attack.

Chaplin was trialled as a forward during Friday’s 60-point pre-season loss to Fremantle in Mandurah.

The 29-year-old finished the match with 12 disposals and 1.2 in a promising display from limited opportunities.

Chaplin has been bunkered down in defence for most of his 207-game career, booting just 14 goals in that period.

But assistant coach Brendon Lade said Chaplin now had a perfect chance to prove himself as a genuine swingman.

Jack Riewoldt led Richmond’s goalkicking last season with 54 majors, but Ty Vickery was the next best with just 31 goals.

“We’re still looking for that key forward to kick a lot of goals for us. There’s a lot of opportunity for someone to step up and do it,” Lade said.

“It’s handy to have a player in the side that can go both ends.

“We know Chaplin can play back, but he’s also shown he can play forward.

“And having that bit of flexibility now with less rotations (is handy).”

Richmond were missing a host of stars in their heavy loss to Fremantle, with the likes of Dustin Martin, Riewoldt, Alex Rance and Trent Cotchin all rested.

But the Tigers are set to unleash a near full-strength squad for next Saturday’s clash with Hawthorn in Beaconsfield.

Forward Ty Vickery and fellow big man Ben Griffiths are in doubt after copping head knocks against the Dockers.

Fremantle were also left with an injury concern after Hayden Ballantyne tweaked his left hamstring.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon is confident Ballantyne will be fit for the season opener against the Bulldogs on March 27.

But of more immediate concern to Ballantyne is a likely phone call from the AFL’s integrity unit.

Ballantyne is facing a fine after being caught using his mobile phone in the change rooms during Friday’s match.

Under AFL rules aimed at stamping out the leaking of inside information that could be used for betting, players are forbidden to use their mobile phones during matches.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Ballantyne was probably just letting loved ones know he was OK, rather than getting up to something sinister.

“He’s got a wife and two young kids who are probably not at the game,” Lyon said.

“If I hypothesize (what he texted), it’s probably: “I’m hurt – love I’m ok.”

“And if it’s that, you would think he might just get a little tap on the wrist and we all move on, and common sense prevails.

“The integrity unit – there’s some pretty smart blokes in there, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

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