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TWO-time Coleman medallist Jack Riewoldt has been ruled out of tomorrow’s NAB Challenge clash against Collingwood at Wangaratta.
In a disappointing blow for North East footy fans, the Richmond ace has failed to prove his fitness in time for the match at Norm Minns Oval and will be sidelined with quad tightness.
Reece Conca, Jake King, Ricky Petterd, Chris Knights, Matt Arnot, Matt McDonough and rookie Matt Thomas have all been included in the Tigers’ 29-man squad.
Richmond forward Aaron Edwards said the club was keen to bounce back from last week’s shock loss to Melbourne against one of its fiercest rivals.
“It wasn’t ideal losing to Melbourne last week but Collingwood this week is a new challenge,” Edwards said.
“We didn’t lose any premiership points last week so we’ll look at the positives to come out of that game.
“You want to win every game you play but at this time of the year it’s not the end of the world if we don’t.
“We’ll just focus on building and getting all the little things right so we can start the year well.”
Former North Albury midfielder Anthony Miles, who is vying for a spot on Richmond’s senior list, has kept his place in the Tigers’ squad, which will be trimmed to 26 before the game.
Miles starred against Melbourne last Friday night.
Collingwood, meanwhile, has recalled a host of premiership stars — including Brownlow medallist Dane Swan — for the clash that is expected to sell out today.
Bright’s Ben Reid, Nathan Brown, Tyson Goldsack and livewire Alex Fasolo are other inclusions.
Nick Maxwell and Dayne Beams have both been rested.
Edwards said the Tigers were hoping for a much stronger showing than they dished up against the Demons, with finals again on the agenda.
“Obviously we made the finals for the first time in a long time last season and that’s definitely the goal again,” Edwards said.
“But a lot of teams have that goal so we need to focus on having a good start to the year.
“Obviously we can’t look past Collingwood this week but we’ve got to build into having a really strong start to the season.
“As they say, once you get to the middle part of the season, if you’re not in the calculations it’s very hard to get into the top eight.
“Credit to Melbourne last week, they played really well.”
Less than 750 of the 11,000 tickets remain for tomorrow’s 4.40pm clash.