Tigers recall Stack as injury list grows

·2-min read

Richmond have called upon Sydney Stack for his first game of the season as the AFL premiers attempt to push past a form slump and a seemingly ever-growing injury list.

Sunday's clash with Collingwood at the MCG is a must-win with Richmond sitting ninth after three losses on the bounce and unable to call on the likes of Shane Edwards, Dion Prestia, Bachar Houli, Kane Lambert, Noah Balta, Nathan Broad and Callum Coleman-Jones.

Toby Nankervis (knee) was due to return against the Magpies but was withdrawn on Friday, when Nick Vlastuin (knee) was also scratched.

Richmond's injuries and Stack's VFL form have opened the door for the 21-year-old to make his first appearance since round 13 last year, likely off half-back.

Stack's 2020 season ended when he and Coleman-Jones received 10-game suspensions and were kicked out of the AFL's Queensland hub for breaching COVID-19 protocols after attending a strip club then being involved in a fight outside a kebab shop.

Stack then spent three weeks, including Christmas, behind bars after being caught in Northbridge during his compulsory self-isolation period in Western Australia - and didn't return to Richmond until late March, before resuming football at VFL level in April.

"He's really impressed, how he's gone about it," coach Damien Hardwick said.

"Obviously he started a little bit behind the eight ball but his fitness has really picked up and he's starting to see the form that we know Sydney can play with.

"What happens is everyone matures and everyone grows up at stages, don't they? Some take a little longer than others.

"But we always thought Sydney's on-field performance is not our biggest concern. He can play the game, there's no doubt about that.

"What we've been really impressed with is how he's gone about his life off-field.

"He's started to get some things in place, he's started to grow up - which is gonna make him not only a great footballer, I think, but a great person off the field also."

Daniel Rioli has been recalled after impressing at VFL level in his new role off half-back, along with Rhyan Mansell, while Jack Ross has been dropped.

In Vlastuin's absence, versatile tall Ryan Garthwaite has been called upon for his first game since round 13, 2019.

While he conceded Richmond needed to "play a hell of a lot better", Hardwick was confident the Tigers weren't far away from recapturing form and confidence.

Hardwick was optimistic Edwards (ankle) would miss just one week.

Meanwhile Collingwood dropped Mason Cox and Caleb Poulter, while Josh Daicos (finger) is sidelined through injury.

Will Kelly, Callum Brown and Ollie Henry were all recalled.

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