RICHMOND'S prized draft selection Nick Vlastuin will make his AFL debut against Fremantle at Patersons Stadium on Friday night.
Vlastuin, the pick No.9 of the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, replaces small defender Steven Morris, who accepted a one-game suspension for engaging in rough conduct against Collingwood's Jamie Elliot.
Coach Damien Hardwick said on Tuesday a second change to the team that lost to Collingwood by 34 points was likely, with key defender Troy Chaplin in doubt after suffering a second concussion in three weeks.
"He's in the mix. There's no doubt he's been in the mix for quite some time," Hardwick said of Vlastuin, who was an emergency against the Magpies.
"He's an impressive individual there's no doubt.
"He's got some areas of his game he still needs to work on, but I think he's a ready AFL player to a degree."
Hardwick said small forward Jake King would be available after receiving a knee to the back against Collingwood.
Midfielder Brad Helbig continued his strong form with 27 possessions in the VFL, while Robin Nahas (two goals) and Aaron Edwards (seven) were impressive for Coburg.
Hardwick said the Tigers would consider bringing in another marking target in attack on the big Perth ground.
"We'll certainly look at Aaron (Edwards) … he's a lead-up forward, so the [WA] ground suits that type of player," he said.
"The forward line is going OK at the moment. Do we look at bringing in a fourth target? Big ground, Subiaco, maybe a chance."
Fremantle is expected to welcome back key defender Luke McPharlin (concussion) following its 42-point loss to Hawthorn, but captain Matthew Pavlich will be unavailable after having Achilles tendon surgery on Monday night.
Hardwick said Fremantle's forward line would be unpredictable without its champion goalkicker, with small forwards Hayden Ballantyne and Michael Walters looming as threats.
"We've got a number of other players we think can nullify Ballantyne, Walters, these types of players who are very impressive," he said.
"(Chris) Mayne is outstanding. Whether they bring in another tall we're not sure.
"The thing about sides that change up their forward structure, they become more unpredictable.
"We'll work our way through that."
Hardwick said Richmond, which is ranked last in the competition for tackles, needed to lift its defensive pressure against Fremantle, which is a frenetic tackling side (ranked No.2 in the competition).
He said the Tigers had trained poorly in the lead-up to last Saturday's clash against Collingwood and their preparation needed to improve ahead of a difficult road trip.
Richmond has lost its last four matches at Patersons Stadium and has a 38 per cent winning record interstate under Hardwick.