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Cyril set to sizzle in 2016

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Cyril Rioli in action during the Hawks' pre-season. Picture: AFL Media - ${keywords}
Cyril Rioli in action during the Hawks' pre-season. Picture: AFL Media

CYRIL Rioli is set for another great year after putting together a solid pre-season, stand-in coach Brett Ratten says.

The 2015 Norm Smith medallist will play his first game of 2016 in Saturday's NAB Challenge game against Richmond in Beaconsfield. The game is sold out, and only those with pre-purchased tickets can attend the match.

Rioli played 24 games last season, the first time he's played more than 20 games since 2012.

The 26-year-old has struggled with hamstring issues in the past but looks to have finally overcome them.

"[Rioli's] going well. He'll get through and play the game time that's required," Ratten said on Friday.

"Most sessions he's on the track and training. He's done everything right." Ratten said midfielder Will Langford is close to playing. Langford played 13 games last year after struggling at times with a knee injury.

He was one of the Hawks' best in their 2014 finals campaign and finished equal third in the Norm Smith Medal voting in that season's decider.

"He's fine. He'll probably play NAB (game) three. He'll be very close," Ratten said.

Ruckman Jonathon Ceglar should also be fit. Ceglar had minor wrist surgery at the end of last year.

"He had a little setback. He hit his finger so we'll just give him a rest this week and he'll be right for next week."

Ceglar was named as an emergency for every game of the Hawks' finals series and only played once after round 14.