RICHMOND will draw on last year's experience of overcoming mass injuries and line-up tumult on the road to the 2019 premiership as it begins Gold Coast hub life.
The Tigers will make at least five changes this week, with Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and Dion Prestia and Toby Nankervis (syndesmosis) injured, and Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards staying in Melbourne.
EIGHT IN, EIGHT OUT Richmond's flag side set for radical overhaul
Houli's wife gave birth to their third child last week, while Edwards' partner is only weeks from giving birth, so they understandably prioritised family over football.
Spearhead Tom Lynch (broken hand) is also in some doubt after undergoing surgery and making a mad dash to the Gold Coast on Monday night to beat border closures.
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
Lynch's premiership teammate Dylan Grimes told reporters on Thursday morning the key forward would train on Friday and he was hopeful of facing Sydney on Sunday.
"He caught a private jet up here, which is typical Tom Lynch style. I think he actually owned that one," Grimes joked.
"But it's good to have him up here.
"He got up here obviously before the borders closed and his hand's looking really good and it's making big improvements each day but we'll just have to wait and see."
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An injury crisis threatened to derail Richmond's flag assault last season and it even sat outside the top eight through 14 rounds but the Tigers peeled off 12 straight victories to win another Grand Final.
"It's not an ideal situation but we were in a similar spot last year. Midway through the year, I think we had our entire leadership group out injured," Grimes said.
"So you look at that and you take a bit of solace in past experience, knowing you were able to get through those times.
"Certainly, we'd love to have those players playing but having said that, we brought some really good depth players up this year who are best-22 players but just haven't had an opportunity yet."
Richmond managed just one win through its first four matches this year but showed some promising signs – including its pressure game returning – in defeating Melbourne on Sunday.
Grimes also rejected any notion there was a lack of hunger in the Tigers' playing group or that they were distracted by the COVID-19 circumstances that created the hub scenario.
"One thing we can bring to the situation is acceptance and bring our best at each moment, so we've been trying to do that," he said.
"We had a training session yesterday and we've done weights and everything is a bit different but at the same time we're trying to make the best of every situation.
"I think the first few days the boys have just been ecstatic to be around each other for the first time in a long time … and we're looking forward to having our first hitout this weekend."