RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick has again defended Tigers duo Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli after AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan suggested players "should be walking away" from conflict.
Bolton and Rioli will not be punished by Richmond for their involvement in a nightclub scuffle, but the AFL integrity unit's review of the matter is ongoing.
The incident left Bolton sidelined with a broken wrist and Rioli with a black eye.
Rioli took part in the Tigers' light training run at Punt Road on Friday morning and is fit to play against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night.
Richmond have repeatedly backed their players, whom they said were provoked by a patron who made comments about Rioli's partner.
McLachlan said all AFL players should look to avoid conflict.
"It's difficult at times, I know that provocation exists and circumstances are always relevant, but my general position is that people need to walk away and be above that," McLachlan said on Thursday.
"Let's see where everything plays out in terms of the report and then if appropriate I would have more to say.
"I think it's difficult to comment on stuff if it's known that the integrity department are having a look at it."
Hardwick said Bolton and Rioli had addressed the club, with Richmond now ready to move on.
"We don't condone violence in any way, so don't get me wrong there, but what I will say is there are certain situations where we expect our players to make a stand," Hardwick said on Friday.
"When a young lady is being intimidated (or treated) inappropriately or whether she felt insecure, we expect our players to stand in.
"Daniel, as far as we're concerned, did the right thing.
"Do we want the violence to be part of that? Absolutely not.
"But the fact of the matter is, and I think Gill (McLachlan) is on the same page here, we just need players to make sure that people are treated respectfully."
Hardwick said the best move for Rioli now is to focus on the GWS clash at Marvel Stadium and put the off-field incident out of his mind.
"He's trained very well this week and he's looked quick and fast," Hardwick said.
"He's in good spirits at the moment and we hope he has a really good performance because he's important to how we play."
Dion Prestia, Kane Lambert, Shane Edwards and captain Trent Cotchin are also missing from a depleted midfield that was out-muscled by the Cats in the Tigers' heaviest defeat of the season.
Hugo Ralphsmith will debut for Richmond against GWS and Hardwick expects a fierce response from the likes of second-tier midfielders Jack Graham, Marlion Pickett and Riley Collier-Dawkins.
The Giants are also nursing a raft of injuries but have on-ballers Callan Ward, Josh Kelly, Jacob Hopper, Tim Taranto and Tom Green in good form, and have won four of their last five games to surge into top-eight contention.
Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale has expressed his frustration at being forced to play a home game away from the MCG, saying this week it will cost the club "hundreds of thousands of dollars".
But Hardwick doesn't see it as a major issue for his team.
"The game's at Marvel Stadium and we're happy to play anytime, anywhere," Hardwick said.
"From a fans' perspective, I've got no doubt they'd love to be at the 'G, but we'll take what the AFL gives us."