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Lennon hungry to nail down spot in best 22

Ben Lennon in action during Richmond training - ${keywords}
Ben Lennon in action during Richmond training
It's going to be pretty hard for spots but I've just got to keep training hard and hopefully keep kicking goals, which would be nice
Ben Lennon

RICHMOND forward Ben Lennon hopes his good form against Hawthorn last Saturday will help him nail down a spot in the Tigers' best 22.

Picked at No.12 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, Lennon has always been on the fringe at the selection table.

Most notably, he was left out of Richmond's elimination final loss to North Melbourne last year, after having played eight consecutive games.

In his penultimate game of 2015, Lennon was nominated for the NAB Rising Star, despite going through a pre-season marred by hip surgery and glandular fever.

At the end of the year, Lennon was mooted as a possible trade chip to send to Carlton in return for Chris Yarran but Richmond was adamant he was a required player. In the end the Tigers won out, re-signing Lennon for another two years.

Lennon knew he had to make an impact against the Hawks in Beaconsfield, and he duly delivered.

The 20-year-old kicked three goals, with a pair of those coming inside a couple of minutes in the third quarter.  

"I was pretty eager to get on. I didn't play much in the first half and knew I had to make an impact in the second half," Lennon said.

"I was pretty happy to get on the end of a few."

Lennon is aware nailing down a spot in a side that has made finals for three consecutive seasons will be difficult.

Having played 16 games in his two years, Lennon is hungry to add more.

"We're shaping up pretty well. It's going to be pretty hard for spots but I've just got to keep training hard and hopefully keep kicking goals, which would be nice."

Admittedly, it was an understrength Hawthorn outfit that the Tigers beat up on, with the final margin ballooning out to 71 points. Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Jack Gunston and Luke Breust were missing, among others.

Any win over the three-time reigning premiers is sweet though.

"It was good [to beat the Hawks]. The boys had a pretty good performance," he said.

"They had a few players out but we've just got to keep sticking to the process and we're really looking forward to round one [against Carlton]."