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TEAMS: Youngster wins race to replace Rioli

Carey: Dees aren't a 'united team' Wayne Carey and Campbell Brown preview round one
Shai Bolton has been named for the Tigers - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Collingwood Magpies,Carlton Blues,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs
Shai Bolton has been named for the Tigers

RICHMOND small forward Shai Bolton has won the race to replace premiership hero Daniel Rioli in Thursday night's blockbuster season opener against Carlton at the MCG.

The Tigers have named 18 of last year's premiership 22, with defenders Reece Conca and Jayden Short, and midfielder Corey Ellis also coming into the line-up for Thursday night.  

Match preview and our tip: Richmond v Carlton

As coach Damien Hardwick confirmed on Wednesday, Bachar Houli (calf) and Dion Prestia (hamstring) will miss the opening round, while Nathan Broad is unavailable because of a club suspension.

Bolton had long been tipped to replace Rioli, and two lively JLT Community Series appearances gave him the edge and ensured exciting draftee Jack Higgins would need to wait to make his debut.  

Short has earned his opportunity across half-back as a replacement for Broad after an outstanding JLT Community Series, while Conca steps in for Houli after a solid block of training.   

See the full team line-ups 

Ellis, who played six games last season, has been selected after a strong pre-season in the midfield, getting the nod ahead of emergencies Anthony Miles and Sam Lloyd to replace Prestia.

The Tigers have named young tall Callum Moore and back-up ruckman Ivan Soldo as their other emergencies. 

Carlton announced earlier on Wednesday that it will unveil four new players, including prized draftee Paddy Dow, who was recruited with pick No.3 in last year's NAB AFL Draft.

The Blues also named Greater Western Sydney recruit Matt Kennedy, former Sun Jarrod Garlett and ex-North Melbourne defender Aaron Mullett.

The Blues have named a tall backline, with Liam Jones, Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman and Caleb Marchbank all selected.

Port Adelaide recruit Cam O'Shea has been named as an emergency, alongside second-year forward Cam Polson, young forward Harry McKay and midfielder David Cuningham.

Thursday, March 22

Richmond v Carlton at the MCG, 7.25pm AEDT


New: Nil

Notable absentees: Bachar Houli, Dion Prestia, Daniel Rioli, Nathan Broad


New: P.Dow (debut); M.Kennedy (Greater Western Sydney), J.Garlett (Gold Coast/South Fremantle), A.Mullett (North Melbourne)

Notable absentees: Sam Docherty, Jarrod Pickett, Sam Rowe