WHILE predicting their only contact will be a pre-game handshake, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says Dustin Martin has nothing to prove in Saturday night's mouth-watering contest against Demons star Christian Petracca.

The premiers and unbeaten Melbourne meet at the MCG in a fixture featuring the League's best player and the man shaping as his heir apparent.

The pair set the scene with Martin collecting 34 disposals and a goal last week against St Kilda, while Petracca posted a career-best 36 disposals and two goals in the win over Geelong.

"They both play mid-forward so they will stand next to each other at certain stages but they won't be playing on each other at any stage I'd imagine," Hardwick said on Thursday.

"Both are very high-impact players, great players to watch and we look forward to a big crowd coming to watch those boys at work but they will shake hands at the start of the game and that's as close as they will get."

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Hardwick said Martin didn't need to assert his dominance over his rivals to prove he was top dog.

"What guys like Dustin do is just play the game," he said.

"We just ask him to play to his strengths and that's what he brings.

"He doesn't worry about what external people say and where they place him - he only worries about what he can control."

Meanwhile, Hardwick says Maurice Rioli jnr won't be making his much-anticipated senior debut in the Anzac Eve fixture.

Richmond's Maurice Rioli jnr in action against Sandringham Zebras in the VFL on April 16, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Rioli, the son of the late former Richmond champion Maurice Rioli, was among the emergencies against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.

"At this stage he won't be in," Hardwick said.

"He's got some significant upside for us - the way he tackles the contest and the opponent is really impressive.

"He's made some significant progress and he's a lot further advanced than I thought he was going to be ... but he's not quite there yet."

Injured triple premiership stars Dion Prestia (hamstring) and Nick Vlastuin (knee) were still a couple of weeks away.