RICHMOND is still formulating its ruck plan to stop Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy on Thursday night, but the Tigers have one selection dilemma already sorted.
The Tigers played 2019 premiership pair Ivan Soldo and Toby Nankervis in round one against Carlton, but shortened quarters have placed questions on whether clubs will take two rucks into games this season.
Last week assistant coach Justin Leppitsch even raised the option of Grand Final debutant Marlion Pickett playing as a fill-in ruckman.
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Two days out from the season restart at the MCG, Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin said they were weighing up their best midfield model.
"I'm not too sure how the coaches will structure it up. Both have been in really good nick in our little mid-season phase leading into the restart and both Soldo and 'Nank' have amazing attributes," Cotchin said.
"I think it will just come down to how we match up and best fit for the team."
In last year's round 19 clash, Richmond's ruck pair Soldo and Mabior Chol combined to limit Grundy to nine disposals – the lowest possession tally he had recorded in a game since round seven, 2016.
It has provided a blueprint for restricting the back-to-back Virgin Australia AFL All Australian and Magpie best and fairest.
"He's a bloody good player, as we've seen across a number of years now, and incredibly important to the way that Collingwood play," Cotchin said.
"Thinking back to last year I think the guys did a pretty good job of negating his influence on the game so that's probably the expectation from our point of view.
"The thing with good players is it's bloody hard to do. They'll need as much support from their teammates as possible."
Dual premiership defender Bachar Houli looked in doubt to face the Magpies as he battled a calf tweak after returning to the club last month.
But the 32-year-old has returned to full training and is set to run out in front of an empty MCG this week.
"He's telling everyone he is [ready]. He took part in our little scratch [match] last week and he's in really good nick and he's feeling really ready," Cotchin said.