Hayden Young flies for a mark during Fremantle's clash against Hawthorn in round eight, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND has trained its focus on keeping Fremantle's star defenders grounded leading into their round 13 clash at Optus Stadium.

The Dockers (6-5) have thrust themselves back into premiership calculations with a stunning four-match winning streak that included a win over Melbourne at the MCG.

Defenders Alex Pearce, Hayden Young, Brennan Cox and Luke Ryan have played a key role in Fremantle's success, with their intercept marking and rebound proving crucial.

Richmond utility Liam Baker, who could play up forward against the Dockers, said his team must restrict the influence of Fremantle's star-studded defence.

"You can't just be letting their backs fly. We won't be doing that," Baker told reporters on Friday.


"We're going to keep them accountable. They'll be keeping ours as well.

"We just have to play five per cent better than we have been. 

"We've been going all right ... but (Fremantle) are flying at the moment."

The Dockers will be without ruckman Sean Darcy (hamstring) and midfielder Jaeger O'Meara (suspension) in their quest to post a fifth straight win.

Sean Darcy is seen at half-time during Fremantle's clash against Melbourne in round 11, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Darcy's absence means Luke Jackson will take on the lead ruck role, with forward Josh Treacy his back-up.

Last week's sub Sam Sturt has been included in the 22 to play a full-time forward role, while winger Liam Henry also comes in.

Midfielder Will Brodie, who has been in hot form in the WAFL, couldn't be considered for a senior recall after injuring his ankle at training.

Richmond welcomes back defender Nick Vlastuin (corked leg) but loses Noah Cumberland (calf).

Nick Vlastuin marks the ball during Richmond training on June 8, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

The Tigers notched their first win under interim coach Andrew McQualter last week when they edged past Greater Western Sydney by six points.

With four wins, one draw and seven losses to their name, 13th-placed Richmond needs to beat Fremantle to keep its faint finals hopes flickering.

Baker will notch his 100th AFL game on Saturday, and the Perth-born utility will be doing it in front of family and friends.

"It just makes it extra special," he said.

"We'll have the family down in the rooms.

"It's going to be a good weekend, and if we can get the 'W' as well, it will be perfect."

Liam Baker celebrates a goal during Richmond's clash against Sydney in round five, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

While he will enjoy having his family around him at Optus Stadium, the 2018 rookie draft pick has no plans to leave Richmond and return home to Perth.

"I always thought about it (returning home), but the reality is I love it at Richmond," he said.

"It's a very good club to be at. The boys are amazing, the club itself are amazing.

"I'm happy with where I'm at."