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Selection a big win for Lou's grand-nephew

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WESTERN Bulldogs' first-round draft pick Ed Richards will make his debut against West Coast on Sunday to continue the family’s long-standing tradition in the AFL.

Pick 16 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, Richards will replace Hayden Crozier across half-back after an impressive performance in last week's VFL practice match against Geelong.

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The 18-year-old is the grandson of Collingwood legend Ron Richards and grand-nephew of AFL icon Lou Richards.

He played in the Dogs' AFLX series in Sydney before he was left out of the team for JLT matches against Hawthorn and Collingwood.

Last year Richards was overlooked for Vic Metro selection following a knee injury before surging up the draft order late.

Plying his trade for Carey Grammar in the APS school's competition, Richards then had a stellar finish to his season for Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup as he came into recruiters' reckoning.

His call-up comes after the Dogs unveiled their first pick from the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, key defender Aaron Naughton, alongside debutant rookie Billy Gowers last week.

Not afraid to blood young talent, coach Luke Beveridge introduced eight fresh faces in the club's 2015 premiership campaign. 

The Bulldogs will be forced to make at least two changes at the selection table on Thursday night after Crozier's injury and Tom Liberatore's ACL tear.