RICHMOND has dropped dual premiership defender Nathan Broad for its crucial clash with Geelong on Friday night, while promising young duo Jack Higgins and Thomson Dow have also been left out of the side for the pivotal top-four encounter.

Broad will make way for important defender Dylan Grimes, who returns from a hamstring injury, with experienced midfielder Kane Lambert also recovering from a hip problem to play.

Young midfielder Jack Ross is the third inclusion for the Tigers, who could leapfrog the Cats into third position with a victory.

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Geelong has made two changes of its own, with Josh Jenkins axed after just one game in the senior team. Youngster Zach Guthrie has also been left out, with Jack Steven (jaw) and Rhys Stanley (groin) failing to recover from injury setbacks.

It means that Esava Ratugolea returns to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility in the ruck, with Irish defender Zach Tuohy also recovering from a chest injury to play his 200th AFL game.

01:39 Mins
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Match Previews R17: Geelong v Richmond

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Michael Wall preview the game between the Cats and the Tigers at Metricon Stadium

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Friday, September 11

Geelong v Richmond, Metricon Stadium, 7.50pm AEST

In: Z.Tuohy, E.Ratugolea
Out: J.Jenkins (omitted), Z.Guthrie (omitted)

In: D.Grimes, K.Lambert, J.Ross
Out: N.Broad (omitted), J.Higgins (omitted), T.Dow (omitted)