WHEN Richmond lodges its team sheet on Thursday night, few will be more intrigued as to its make-up than St Kilda's Bradley Hill.

After a near-permanent wing combination in 2019, the Tigers continue to search for their best set-up in 2020.

And it leaves a watch on which way Damien Hardwick will go at selection for Saturday's date with the Saints at Marvel Stadium.  

04:00 Mins
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On a wing and a prayer: How Hawks dismantled Tigers

Ross Lyon breaks down how Hawthorn beat Richmond last Friday night

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Last week Hawthorn wingman Isaac Smith ran riot with a best-on-ground 29-disposal performance against as a Tigers side that had little answer.

In round two, Collingwood's Josh Daicos was allowed to amass a career-best 24 disposals left largely unattended on a wing.

Josh Caddy returned for his second game of the season against the Hawks and played predominantly on a wing with Jack Graham, typically an insider midfielder, continuing his opportunity on the other side.

But is it time for a dedicated wingman such as Kamdyn McIntosh or Patrick Naish to assume the role opposite to Caddy?

Last season, McIntosh played 92 per cent of his 16 games on a wing before being replaced by Caddy in that position for the run home and the premiership win over Greater Western Sydney.

On the other side, the now-departed Brandon Ellis (84 per cent) rarely left the wing in his 23 games. Naish chipped in for two games of his own.

While Ellis was an outlet of frustration for many Richmond fans before his move to Gold Coast, the two-time premiership player enjoyed an above average 9.6 Player Ratings points per game, according to Champion Data.

This year, the seven players used on the wing for Richmond combine for an average of 6.8.

How Ellis would be a valuable commodity in 2020.

Former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon noted this week the Tigers structured themselves differently to a number of other sides.

"Richmond like to go quick and straight, they like to take ground and penetrate," Lyon said of their game style on The Coach.

"They don't shift the ball off the line (they're on), so to speak.

13:31 Mins
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If their sole focus is four points, 'they're going to implode'

Ross Lyon on Richmond, West Coast and Adelaide

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"There was some footage of Isaac Smith speaking to his team at half-time and you could just read his lips a bit, (he was saying) 'Keep defending the skinny side', (because) Richmond work through the skinny side.

"If you know where they want to use the ball and when they're held up, they don't like to switch the ball."


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While the reliance on wing roles may be held in a different light at Punt Road than some other clubs, it was still acknowledged as a point of contention during pre-season.

Senior mainstays Kane Lambert, Jason Castagna, Dan Rioli, Shane Edwards and Marlion Pickett were all trialled there during internal scratch matches and have spent time in the role in 2020.

And with the defined wing role not going anywhere in the 6-6-6 model introduced from last season, Tigers youngsters Riley Collier-Dawkins, Thomson Dow, Fraser Turner and Hugo Ralphsmith will have their sights fixed on the position as a way to break in for the future.


Josh Caddy 89% of personal game time
Jack Graham 71%
Marlion Pickett 26%
Dan Rioli 22%
Jason Castagna 22%
Kane Lambert 21%
Shane Edwards 13%