Tigers’ Hardwick swings AFL selection axe

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick swung the selection axe as he looks to set up his side for next season, with key forward Ty Vickery dropped in one of four unforced changes made on Thursday night.

It remains to be seen if Vickery, a free agent at season’s end, is in Hardwick’s plans after he departed the side that capitulated to Geelong along with Ben Lennon, Nathan Drummond and Anthony Miles.

Kane Lambert, Todd Elton, Callum Moore and Connor Menadue were included in the side to face St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday.

“We’re looking at things that may take us forward, including personnel, so there’s going to be changes,” Hardwick warned ahead of selection on Thursday.

“We look forward to seeing some of those players getting the chance to shine in the last two weeks.”

Vickery’s form hasn’t warranted automatic selection in his eighth season at the club and he could be on the lookout for a fresh start.

While not speaking about Vickery specifically, Hardwick agreed some difficult decisions will be made at the end of the season.

“It’s a tough game, it’s a cut-throat industry,” he said.

“Those decisions get made at the end of the season from our point of view and basically every club’s point of view, I suppose.”

Hardwick wouldn’t be drawn on a speculated move to lure out-of-favour Collingwood forward Travis Cloke, but David Astbury and Oleg Markov will definitely be at Punt Road next year after signing new deals.

Astbury signed on until the end of the 2019 season, while Markov’s services are secured until the end of the 2018 season.

In off-field moves, the Tigers announced former Richmond premiership player Emmett Dunne will join the club’s board in September, replacing retired long-serving director John Matthies.

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