Griffiths in frame for Tigers’ AFL recall

Richmond are moving ever closer to wheeling out their best three big forwards together at AFL level for the first time in 11 months.

If Ben Griffiths can prove he has fully recovered from concussion he is set to be named in the squad to take on Port Adelaide on Sunday.

Jack Riewoldt has again been in sparkling form this year while the oft-maligned Ty Vickery was impressive after replacing Griffiths in last weekend’s breakthrough victory over Collingwood, kicking three goals and providing good ruck support for Ivan Maric.

Vickery will definitely hold his spot for the clash against Port Adelaide, raising the prospect of him playing alongside Riewoldt and Griffiths – something that hasn’t happened since round 12 last year.

The Tigers also hope to regain key midfielder Shane Edwards (calf) for the game against the Power, but former skipper Chris Newman will miss at least one more week with a groin injury.

“They really haven’t played together this year at any stage, it’s possibly our second look at it going forward,” coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday.

“We’re excited, but Griff’s got to get through training and then we make a decision about whether he’s ready to go.”

Griffiths grabbed his opportunity late last year, playing the last six matches after Vickery was suspended for striking West Coast’s Dean Cox.

Hardwick notes the two 200cm giants have different strengths, with Vickery the more capable back-up ruckman.

“Importantly when he takes his marks and kicks his goals he’s a very dangerous player for the opposition to worry about,” said the coach.

“We think that if he’s got that in his trick bag he’s going to be a really important player for us going forward.

“I’ve said all along that he’s part of our best 22 when he’s playing his best football.”

Hardwick has pledged to keep faith with the decision to play Steve Morris in the forward half, even though the former defender has only managed two goals in seven games this year.

“People look at stats – kicks, marks, handballs,” said Hardwick.

“To be honest a lot of coaches … don’t look at those that closely.

“There’s the ability to force turnovers, defensive pressure, all those things that Steve does, a lot of the public don’t notice, but I notice as a coach.

“We speak about the way we want our players to play – if I’ve got more Steve Morrises in my side I know I’m going to get a contest at every opportunity, I know I’m going to get pressure on the opposition at every opportunity and I’m going to get a player that our guys love playing with.”

Richmond and Port Adelaide both take 3-4 win-loss records into Sunday’s twilight encounter at the Adelaide Oval which will be the 300th and last at senior level for Power stalwart Kane Cornes.

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