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Contract extension looms for silky premiership Tiger

Daniel Rioli will be a virtual new recruit for the Tigers this season after playing just 12 games in 2018 - AFL,Richmond Tigers,Daniel Rioli,Contracts
Daniel Rioli will be a virtual new recruit for the Tigers this season after playing just 12 games in 2018

RICHMOND is closing in on a contract extension for exciting forward Daniel Rioli, one of a dozen premiership Tigers seeking new deals this year.

AFL.com.au understands the Tigers are well advanced in negotiations to re-sign Rioli for up to three years.

The livewire has added significant currency since his last two-year deal in mid-2017, recovering strongly from an ankle injury last year that he sustained in the 2017 flag triumph.

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Returning in round 13, the 21-year-old played the final 12 games, averaging a career-best 14.2 disposals and 3.8 tackles a game.

His long-term commitment at Punt Road will also be crucial with the impending arrival of cousin Maurice Rioli jnr, who is eligible to be drafted as a father-son in 2020.

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Rioli jnr, who is open to be selected by the Tigers or Fremantle due to late father Maurice's time at Punt Road and South Fremantle, has previously flagged his intentions to nominate the Tigers.

Other key Tigers set to fall out of contract in 2019 include David Astbury, Brandon Ellis and Shane Edwards – all of whom will become free agents at season's end.

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Nick Vlastuin, who is regarded as a potential future captain of the Tigers, Kamdyn McIntosh, Nathan Broad and small forwards Jason Castagna and Dan Butler are also in need of fresh deals.

Veterans Shaun Grigg and Bachar Houli were retained on one-year deals in September, while forward Jacob Townsend will resume this year as a rookie.

It comes as premiership heroes Alex Rance (2021), Jack Riewoldt (2021) and captain Trent Cotchin (2022) restructured their contracts last year to accommodate the arrival of spearhead Tom Lynch.