FOR THE first time in its history the Dreamtime game will not be held at the MCG.
But there could not be a better alternative venue to host this remarkable event - that celebrates the contribution of the game's past and present Indigenous stars - than TIO Stadium in Darwin.
MATCH CENTRE Follow it LIVE when the game begins
In a year where the game has been confronted by so many challenges, the Dreamtime in Darwin is a shining light through the COVID gloom that has devastated the world.
To say the players are pumped by the game is an understatement.
FROM MISSION LIFE TO THE BIG TIME Syd Jackson's epic journey
The stakes are high, too, with Essendon's finals hope on the line.
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
The Bombers have won only one of their past six games and have slumped to 12th on the ladder after Carlton moved ahead of them on the back of its Friday night win over Gold Coast.
Richmond will also want to make sure of victory to keep in touch with the logjam at the top of the ladder.
And adding extra excitement to the game is the debut of Essendon's livewire small forward Irving Mosquito.
Mosquito, a childhood Bombers supporter who idolised Michael Long, will have the club legend supporting him from the stands.
Star forward Jake Stringer will make his return from an ankle injury while Devon Smith and Tom Bellchambers have also been recalled.
ALL THE TEAMS Check 'em out
Tom Cutler, Josh Begley, Shaun McKernan, Jacob Townsend, Kobe Mutch and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher have all been dropped while Conor McKenna will miss with a hip injury.
Bachar Houli has replaced Nathan Broad as the Tigers' only change in what will be Houli's first game since round five after recently rejoining Richmond in Queensland.