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Yarran progressing as stars hit the track in scorching heat

Lewis arrives, Yarran progress, Ablett delay A pre-season Footy Feed update
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 21: Dion Prestia of the Tigers in action during the Richmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval in Melbourne, Australia on November 21, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Tigers' star recruit Dion Prestia at training on Monday. Picture: AFL Photos

CHRIS Yarran has continued his progression back into Richmond's main training group as a number of stars returned to the track on Monday.

After a difficult first season at Tigerland that saw him dealing with personal and family issues, Yarran is working his way back to full fitness with a tailored program.

As temperatures pushed above 30 degrees on Monday morning, Yarran joined his teammates – including club champion Dustin Martin – for the first hour of a lengthy session at Punt Road Oval.

He completed the warm-up, tackling drills and kicking exercises before stepping out when the main group moved into ball movement.

The 25-year-old joined recruit Dion Prestia, who is also being eased into pre-season training, for a series of full-pace run-throughs and agility exercises.

Yarran finished by running laps of Punt Road Oval, escorted by a trainer and pushing himself to the limit, before signing autographs after a session that lasted almost two hours.

Tigers general manager of football Neil Balme was enthused by Yarran's efforts but conceded his quest to return to the game would be a long process.

"He did a reasonable amount (of training). It's a challenge for him, he's got a fair way to go, but we'll give him every opportunity to do it," Balme told 3AW on Monday night.

"It's just good to see him turning up and having a crack at it. There's more to it than just playing footy.

"Physically he's got a reasonable amount of work to do but you can only do it bit by bit."

Asked what it would take for Yarran to be selected in the pre-season competition, Balme said the former Blue needed to "put the body of work together" and show he had "the appetite for it".

"There will be objective measures of where he's going – what's his fitness like, what are his skin-folds like ... but probably the most important thing about it will be what does he really want to do?" Balme said.

"Is he able to cope with this? Does he want to do that? Where's the best place for him – is it here (or) is it somewhere else? Obviously we'll have those open discussions.

"If he can do the work and he can get himself fit and give himself a chance, obviously we're keen for him to play." 

Prestia, who is recovering from a minor knee complaint, also spent a large portion of training running laps and was joined by young midfielder Corey Ellis.

Midfield recruit Josh Caddy also joined teammates for his first official session.


The majority of Richmond's list has now returned to training, with senior players who have played eight or more seasons to filter back in the next week.

Martin, who won his first best and fairest and All Australian selection in 2016, returned in good condition and settled mid-field in the running drills.


Kane Lambert, Nick Vlastuin and Kamdyn McIntosh were the standout runners when the players were pushed.  

The two-and-a-half hour session was run by Richmond's mostly new panel of assistants, with coach Damien Hardwick in the United States for a study tour.

Dion Prestia and Chris Yarran at training on Monday. Picture: AFL Photos