FORGOTTEN Richmond ruckman Ivan Maric would be battling conflicting emotions this week as he jockeys for selection with cousin and potential debutant Ivan Soldo.
With No.1 ruckman Toby Nankervis suspended for Saturday night's clash against the Western Bulldogs, the Tigers face a choice between project rookie Soldo and his 157-game mentor.
Given the amount of work Maric has put in to bring his 21-year-old cousin up to AFL standard, football manager Neil Balme said the club veteran would see the positives in whatever choice the match committee made.
"He's got some conflicting motivations I reckon, because he's doing a lot of work with our ruckmen, but particularly Soldo who he is quite close to," Balme told AFL.com.au.
"He's working hard with those blokes, but he's also working hard on his own game.
"He's still contributing enormously as a person and that's the sort of man that he is, but he would love to play seniors again, there's no doubt about that.
"He's managing to balance all of that and let someone else make the decisions."
Balme said the choice for a replacement ruckman would likely come down Maric and Soldo, with Mabior Chol coming off a quiet VFL hit-out.
Maric, who has overcome a back complaint, led the ruck against Port Melbourne and finished with 36 hit-outs and 15 possessions.
Soldo, meanwhile, was used in the forward line after some reasonable VFL performances to allow the match committee to see what else he could offer in attack.
The Tigers have room to upgrade the rookie on Thursday, with Nathan Broad, Jack Graham and Shaun Hampson all on their long-term injury list and only rookie Jason Castagna upgraded at this stage.
"If it's not this week it'll be at some point … we reckon he'll play almost certainly at some point," Balme said of Soldo.
The Tigers will also consider recalling tall forward Todd Elton after selecting a small forward line against the Adelaide.