Tigers could lose star for big AFL match

Utility Steve Morris is the likely inclusion if Richmond leave Brett Deledio out of Friday night’s AFL match against Adelaide.

Deledio, who kicked four goals in last week’s upset win over Hawthorn, has been ill and did not train earlier this week.

He also did not travel on Thursday with the Tigers, but he is scheduled to fly to Adelaide on Friday.

Morris is among the Tigers’ emergencies for the Adelaide Oval match.

“He’s done an incredible job on Eddie Betts over a number of years,” Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said before flying out of Melbourne.

The Tigers have made one change so far, bringing back ruckman Shaun Hampson for Simon Lloyd.

Crows captain Nathan Van Berlo and Rory Atkins will return for Adelaide, who have lost Richard Douglas (appendix) and dropped Matthew Wright.

It is a crucial game for the two teams, with the Tigers a game behind fourth spot, but also only a game-and-a-half ahead of eighth on the ladder.

Adelaide dropped out of the top eight last week and must engineer an upset win to stay in the finals hunt.

Hardwick loves that Richmond have been tagged bully boys for their physical style of play.

“If you ask 17 other coaches, we’re all thinking the same thing – the part of the game we all love is physicality,” Hardwick said.

“Most sides will be having the same conversation before running out onto the ground – hard-tough, Richmond-style footy.

“Our players expect no less, the same as Adelaide this week.

“It’s one of the important factors of all premiership sides – you look at Hawthorn; obviously over the last couple of years, Brisbane – they were all based on physicality and intimidation.”

Adelaide coach Scott Camporeale said training this week had focused on the physical pressure they expected from Richmond.

“If you’ve watched their games the last three weeks against quality opposition, that’s what they’ve brought,” Camporeale said.

“That’s a model that’s obviously worked for them against top-four sides, so I’d be staggered if they come with any different attitude.

“You have to embrace it – it’s part of AFL footy. If you think an opposition team’s not going to come with that sort of pressure or heat on a Friday night, I’d be mystified.”

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