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Exciting training form has Cyril set for R1

Danger's wait, Dees hungry, Hill out Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson with all the latest football news
Cyril Rioli is set to play in round one despite not playing a pre-season game - AFL,Hawthorn Hawks,Cyril Rioli,Tim O'Brien,Injuries
Cyril Rioli is set to play in round one despite not playing a pre-season game
The boys are getting excited by what he's producing on the training track and we are as well
Hawks high performance manager Andrew Russell

STAR Hawthorn forward Cyril Rioli appears set to play in the season opener against Collingwood on March 24, but will go into the game having not played any meaningful games in the preseason.

He is eligible to play a VFL practice game for Box Hill this weekend, however AFL.com.au understands the Hawks have determined that his best preparation over the next 10 days will come at training.

The Hawks will have a long and intense session later this week, most likely on Friday and provided Rioli gets through that, he will be in the team to face the Magpies.

"If anyone had have come out to training in the last few weeks they would have seen that his intensity's gone through the roof," Hawthorn high performance manager Andrew Russell told hawthornfc.com.au on Tuesday.

"The boys are getting excited by what he's producing on the training track and we are as well."

Rioli hasn't played since round eight last year after hurting his PCL. He then had a delayed start to summer training after returning to the Northern Territory to care for his father who suffered a heart attack.

Key forward Tim O'Brien (hamstring tightness) was withdrawn from the team that played Carlton in the JLT Community Series on Saturday, but Russell said that was part of the club's no risk policy at this time of the year.

"He trained today and will be available for round one," he said.

Vice-captain Liam Shiels also missed the game on the weekend, but according to Russell, will be right for the Collingwood game.

Ruckman Jonathan Ceglar has recovered slowly from a back complaint and will resume ball work shortly, but is several weeks away from match play, while luckless midfielder Jonathan O'Rourke will also feature at VFL level in the next few weeks.