Shane Edwards will play for Richmond on Friday in Alice Springs and not the Indigenous All Stars
RICHMOND midfielder Shane Edwards will play for the Tigers on Friday night against the Indigenous All-Stars despite spending the week in camp with his Aboriginal counterparts.
Edwards, 24, is in Alice Springs with the All-Stars squad, which arrived on Tuesday and is under the guidance of former Sydney Swans' forward Michael O'Loughlin.
His Richmond teammates flew in on Wednesday and will conduct a three-day community camp ahead of Friday night's game at Traeger Park.
While Edwards will remain with O'Loughlin and the All-Stars squad until the game, he will play for the Tigers with coach Damien Hardwick making the final call on his availability.
"I wasn't prepared to give them another good player, put it that way," a smiling Hardwick said on Wednesday.
"You walk down here and look at the talent over there on that bench and it's quite amazing, the Indigenous talent in our game is fantastic, and I wasn't prepared to let them load up with another player that we're going to have to play against.
"Shane will play for us, and he's such an important player for us as well. He's one that's come on in leaps and bounds so we'revery happy to have him."
All-Stars coach O'Loughlin said there was no bad blood between the two teams over Edwards' availability.
"We were back and forth on the phone but he's part of the camp and we love having him part of it and he's rapt to be a part of it as well," O'Loughlin said.
"He gets a hell of a lot out of it, meeting a lot of the other guys that he won't necessarily get the chance to being at his ownclub and own state.
"He's had a ball being amongst the boys but that's ok … Damien has the last say on that one and good luck to them but there is absolutely no grudges towards Shane for playing for Richmond.
"Hopefully we play another team in the future in the next couple of years and he'll get a chance then."
Richmond draftees Nick Vlastuin and Kamdyn McIntosh are expected to play on Friday night, as are mature-age recruits Aaron Edwards and Chris Knights, and rookie Orren Stephenson.
Players in the rehabilitation group that haven't made the trip include Nathan Foley, Troy Chaplin, Dylan Grimes, Jake King, Ivan Maric, Ricky Petterd and Sam Lonergan.
The All-Stars will be captained by Essendon defender Nathan Lovett-Murray after the withdrawal of Lance Franklin (calf) on Tuesday.
O'Loughlin said Franklin had been disappointed to join his Hawthorn teammates Cyril Rioli (quad) and Shaun Burgoyne (ankle) on the sidelines.
"I was getting texts from Buddy after it was announced he was playing and he was over the moon to be named captain, he hasn't pulled on an All-Stars jumper yet," he said.
"He's pretty upset about it but he'll stay for the rest of the week and he'll help Adam [Goodes] out with the forward line."
Jennifer Phelan is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow her on Twitter @AFL_JenPhelan