Adem Yze and Tom Lynch hug after the R3 match between Richmond and Sydney at the MCG on March 31, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND defender Daniel Rioli is confident Tom Lynch will continue to inspire his teammates despite the star forward facing another agonising injury lay-off.

In a major blow in the aftermath of a thrilling upset of Sydney on Sunday, the Tigers (1-3) are likely to be without Lynch for the majority of the season.

The 31-year-old suffered significant hamstring tendon damage behind his left knee that is likely to require surgery when injured late in the contest against the Swans.

Joining Lynch on the sidelines is Noah Balta, the premiership defender who has swung forward this year under new Tigers coach Adem Yze.

Balta will be sidelined for up to five weeks with a knee injury.

Lynch hurt himself at the same stage of last season - round four - and didn't play for the rest of the year due to a serious foot injury.


"We rely on Lynchy so much in that forward line and he's a key target for us," Rioli said on Tuesday.

"We're going to miss him.

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"He's had tough luck with the injuries, but he comes into the club every day with a smile on his face and a positive attitude, which we love here at the club. 

"He doesn't really get down on himself. 

"He loves this playing group and he always has a laugh and brings that positive energy.

"It sucks to have Lynchy go down because he's a big key figure down there. 

"But we've got full confidence in playing whoever it is filling that role, it's going to be tough but I think we'll be OK."

Tom Lynch limps on the ground during the R3 match between Richmond and Sydney at the MCG on March 31, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Hawthorn recruit Jacob Koschitzke and 206cm Samson Ryan will be in line for a recall to fill the void left by Lynch and Balta.

But veteran superstar Dustin Martin and former captain Dylan Grimes could return for the Tigers' Gather Round clash with St Kilda at Norwood Oval on Sunday.

Richmond supporters will be hoping their frenetic pressure displayed against Sydney will become a trademark of their football under Yze.


After the win on Sunday, Yze described the Tigers' pressure rating in the final quarter as "through the roof".

"If we keep doing that, I think it's going to win us most games, if not hang in there," Rioli said.

"We really set the tone against Sydney and that momentum will hopefully build from there and the boys won't want to let that feeling go."