RICHMOND will be without inspirational captain Trent Cotchin for Thursday night's blockbuster season-opener against Carlton, with the three-time premiership skipper suffering from gastro.

Cotchin has been replaced in the starting Tigers side by dual premiership hero Marlion Pickett, with young onballer Jack Ross named as the first ever 'medical substitute' for the clash.

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Carlton is otherwise unchanged from the side it selected on Wednesday evening, though Richmond has been forced into a late alteration due to Cotchin's untimely illness.

Having been absent from training on Wednesday after being struck down by gastro, Cotchin failed to sufficiently recover on Thursday morning and has been made to withdraw for the annual season-opener.

It means the Tigers have three new faces from last year's successful Grand Final side for the round one encounter, with Jake Aarts and Josh Caddy also selected in the team alongside substitute Ross.