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Tigers play cards perfectly to get son of a gun

Joining the Tigers: 'ecstatic and unreal' Jack Higgins is over the moon to be drafted by the premiers

RICHMOND loved Northern Knights midfielder Patrick Naish and really wanted to bring the son of former rover Chris Naish to the club under the father-son rule.

But they also hoped they wouldn't have to pick him too early during Friday night's NAB AFL Draft.

On that front, it was mission accomplished. The Tigers were able to add excitement machine Jack Higgins with their first selection, No.17 overall and then bring a new ruckman, Callum Coleman-Jones to Punt Road and athletic forward Noah Balta before eventually turning their attention to Naish, who they secured with selection No.34.

The Tigers had to match a bid from St Kilda to get him, but their intelligence was right and they didn't need to draft him so early.

"We really liked him and there was a bit of romance around the father-son," recruiting manager Matthew Clarke said.

"But we didn't really want to alter our draft strategy and getting a tall in was a priority for us."

Patrick Naish (right) with his father Chris. Picture: AFL Photos

It was an instant decision to match St Kilda’s bid and to therefore cap off a big night, which started with the selection of Higgins.

"In every grade and every team, he gets the job done. He’s a smart player who gets the footy and he puts a lot of defensive pressure on, which is what our side has done this year and what Damien (coach Damien Hardwick) will demand of him, so we can see him playing pretty early."

The retirement of Ivan Maric dictated the selection of Coleman-Jones.

"He was too good to pass up, but he has also played a lot as a deep forward as an underage player and he was captain of South Australia, which also appealed from a leadership point of view."

The Tigers know they captured lightning in a bottle when they won the flag with their small forward line this year and Coleman-Jones could play alongside Jack Riewoldt next year if circumstances required that the Tigers need a second tall forward.

"He's physically capable and his running is good. He knows how to get the footy, but the rucks and the big forwards also take some time, but the coaches won’t put any restrictions on him," Clarke added.

Tall utility Ben Miller from Kalgoorlie was the Tigers’ final selection, with pick No.63 and if there was a smokey out of the Tigers draft it was him. But they love his versatility and believe they give him something to work with.

Clarke said that Richmond’s surprise premiership win was almost irrelevant to the type of list management decisions they have made.

"As much as we spend time with the coach, we still need to step back and look at where our list is going and also where the game is going."

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