AS WE are working through the intricacies of this interview with three-time premiership Tiger Daniel Rioli – where to place him, the camera, the microphone – he's mildly distracted.

Not in a rude way. In an almost caring, affectionate, big brother kind of way.

Except the person he's dealing with is not his little sibling, but his uncle.

Maurice Rioli jnr has hit the ground running this season. He kicked three majors against West Coast in round seven. The next week his two tenacious run-down tackles against Collingwood resulted in two Tom Lynch goals.

01:06 Mins
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Rioli's mercurial work sets up two Lynch goals

Maurice Rioli showed off his immense skill with these incredible efforts directly leading to two Tom Lynch goals

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"Everyone's going to compare him to his dad, like a midfielder," Daniel tells

"But he's a completely different player to his dad. He’s a forward-pressure sort of player.

"And he's really shown that in the games he's played. The more games he plays, he's going to be better for it. He's already shining."

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This is, as Rioli would attest to countless times, a "special" relationship that is the flow-on effect of a special family with exceptionally special bonds.

The Rioli name is storied at Richmond. Maurice jnr's father played 118 games for the Tigers.

Richmond's Maurice Rioli snr beats a group of Collingwood players to the ball in 1985. Picture: AFL Photos

Daniel was selected with Pick 15 in the 2015 National Draft, on the eve of the club's incredible triple-flag success.

Fast forward six years and there's another Rioli at Punt Road Oval. Two set to play in Dreamtime at the 'G on Saturday night.

"It is special," Daniel says.

"I spoke to (Maurice) yesterday about it. He's pretty keen.

"When I first got drafted I always wanted to be part of those games. For me to be a part of the game itself, it's pretty special.

"But now to have Maurice there with me, it's going to be even better."

05:14 Mins
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Footy Feed: Tiger on Dreamtime, contract and Maurice

Sarah Olle goes one-on-one with Richmond defender Daniel Rioli

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There's a level of irony to this interview.

The new Rioli on the Richmond block is making a name for himself as a pressure forward whose stats sheet really mean jack you-know-what.

It's exactly the path Daniel navigated when he entered the world of AFL, only to be dropped four years later then told to refashion himself as a defender.

For Rioli and his coach, it's a move that has paid off.

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"I remember 'Dimma' kicked me to the VFL to learn that role. I was like, 'you're kidding, what are you doing?'," Daniel says.

"I played two VFL games in the backline and then found myself in the AFL side.

"It's a different sort of role, but I'm lucky to have a good back six, back seven really talking to me and making things a lot easier in that role.

"For me, playing as a half-back really suits my game style. I'm pretty fast and have got a lot of speed. For me it really plays to my strengths and I'm taking it with both hands now. I really want to make the most of it."

Daniel Rioli punches the ball away from Jamie Cripps in R7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Daniel's ability to play across half-back may have had another effect: increasing his value.

Out of contract at the end of the season, the Ralph Carr-managed defender isn't in any rush to sign a fresh deal.

"No contract talks at the moment," Daniel says.

"I'm keeping it down low.

"Obviously my grandfather played here and now I've got my little uncle here, so it would make life pretty hard if I did leave.

"I think it's an amazing club here. I've got to keep playing good footy and see where we take it from here."

The next stop is Dreamtime at the 'G.

"I find myself pretty grateful to be a part of it," Daniel says, smiling.

"It feels like a Grand Final kind of atmosphere when you're out there and the occasion building up to it. It's pretty amazing, the ceremony.

"To have 60, 70, 80,000 – a packed stadium – it's going to be awesome."