TOM LYNCH says his first game for Richmond could be at VFL level, rather than in front of 80,000 people against Carlton at the MCG on Thursday night.

In an on-stage interview at Richmond's season launch, the key forward – who is recovering from a long-term PCL injury – said he hoped to play at some level next week. 

The Tigers' VFL side hosts Carlton's affiliate Northern Blues at Punt Road Oval on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the blockbuster season opener at the 'G. 

"I think I'll play either AFL or VFL next week," Lynch told MC Matthew Richardson. 

"It'll come down to whether 'Dimma' wants me to come through in the twos or the seniors." 

RULES WASH-UP How your team adjusted in pre-season

Lynch hasn't played at any level since injuring his knee in round 14 while representing Gold Coast. 

Meanwhile, the Tigers will take an unchanged leadership group into 2019 for a third successive season. 

It will be Trent Cotchin's seventh season as captain and he will be supported by vice-captains Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt. 

The 2012 Brownlow medallist, who captained the club to the 2017 premiership, will overtake club legend Jack Dyer's record of 160 games as skipper if he plays 21 matches this season. 

Cotchin will then become the second-longest Richmond skipper behind Percy Bentley (168 games from 1932 to 1940).