Dustin Martin in action during the R2 match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG on March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND will contemplate giving Dustin Martin longer stints up forward against St Kilda in an attempt to fill the gaping hole in attack left by injuries to Tom Lynch and Noah Balta.

The Tigers' stirring win over Sydney was soured by a hamstring tendon injury to power forward Lynch and an MCL sprain to Balta.

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Martin is due to return from a corked calf against the Saints and, given his explosiveness inside 50, coach Adem Yze will be tempted to play him, and potentially Shai Bolton, forward of the ball even more than usual.

"Obviously having Dustin back in the side's a great thing for our group and our team," Yze said on Friday.

"He'll still have a mixture of inside midfield time and forward, Shai's doing the same. 

"So we're looking to balance our team later this afternoon, but to have him available is great for our group.


"Obviously two quality forwards and experienced forwards going out, his organisation in our front end's going to be really important for us and we can't wait to have him back out there."

Yze admitted Lynch's injury, which will sideline the big man for up to three months after he missed most of last year with a foot injury, had been particularly "gut-wrenching".


With Liam Baker suspended, midfielder Jack Graham is also set to return after missing the early rounds with a quad injury.

But the Tigers will have to make a decision by 5pm on Friday whether they bring in a second ruckman in Sam Naismith or recall tall forward Jacob Koschitske.

"It's going to be around the balance of our team - whether we go in with two rucks or Kosi comes in, we've obviously got Dusty," Yze said.

"But the two players that are coming into our team are Graham and Martin, and then we'll work out the rest later today."

Sam Naismith in action during the Opening Round clash between Richmond and Gold Coast at People First Stadium on March 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Yze appeared tempted to go with two rucks, rather than recalling Koschitzke.

Norwood Oval's playing surface is close to 30m narrower than the MCG, and the Tigers marked out narrower wings on Punt Road at Friday's training in a bid to acclimatise.

"There might be more stoppages, so we've got to consider maybe a second ruck, things like that," Yze said.

If Naismith is called upon, he will play with skipper Toby Nankervis for the first time since both ruckmen played for Sydney together in the 2016 semi-final win over Adelaide.

Richmond could debut young midfielder Kane McAuliffe, who Yze said had been "knocking the door down'' for the past couple of weeks in the VFL.

The Tigers are unlikely to make any defensive tweaks, backing Ben Miller and Tylar Young to handle St Kilda spearhead Max King, who is returning from suspension.