2023 AFL Season Preview: Richmond Tigers

After going down in the Elimination Final by two points, can the Tigers return to their best?

Recap of last season

Despite Richmond starting the season off with two wins within the first six rounds, in the next 16 rounds, the Tigers only lost four matches setting themselves up well into the finals series.

Although Richmond finished outside the top four (seventh) the whole competition knew how dangerous it was to come up against the Tigers, especially in the finals series given their finals records within the recent seasons.

The Tigers versed the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba which was tough for them to win away from Melbourne. It came down to the final moments of the game where Joe Daniher kicked his third goal of the match in the goal square to defeat the Tigers by two points.

How can they improve

What hurt Richmond last season was the number of injuries the club had. The Tigers had a lot of their gun players who spent a lot of time on the sidelines due to severe injuries.

Although it hurt to see a handful of Richmond's best players out, their younger and upcoming players were able to show fill in that hole and play their roles so the side was still strong.

The Tigers did not have a bad season however their rough start to the season made it difficult to put themselves in a good position come finals. Although the ladder shows the Tigers finished seventh they were seen as a top-four side when playing.

List Changes

Ins: Kaelan Bradtke (supplemental selection), Tim Taranto (GWS Giants), Jacob Hooper (GWS Giants), Kaleb Smith (pick 49), Steely Green (pick 55), Seth Campbell (rookie), Tylar Young (rookie)

Outs: Shane Edwards (retired), Jason Castagna (retired), Josh Caddy (delisted), Riley Collier-Dawkins (delisted), Sydney Stack (delisted), Matthew Parker (delisted), Jake Aarts (delisted), Will Martyn (delisted)

Biggest strength

Without a doubt, Richmond's biggest strength would have to be how well they recruited in the offseason. The Tigers lost a lot of picks, however, Taranto and Hopper both two top-ten picks will be absolute guns in the midfield and will have no doubt slotting into the team dominating.

It is hard to imagine the Tigers being even stronger than they have been in previous seasons, but their lineup is insanely stacked with gun players. There is no doubt that the Tigers could be even stronger than their premiership run a few seasons ago.

Biggest Weakness

Although with a stacked team at the Tigers, the recent continuous issue with the team has been the number of injuries the side has copped. The Tigers could be a much stronger side if a lot of their players were not spending time on the sideline.

The Tigers has a very slow start last season which in the second half dominated including losing to Geelong the premiers by three points. If the Tigers can have a good run with little injury, then they will set themselves up for a good season.

Rising Star

Noah Balta looks to become one of the best defenders in the competition this season. After his first few seasons being shifted from the ruck and forward line, he has become one of the best one on one defenders at full-back.

At 23 it would sound insane to imagine that Balta could be a replacement for five-time All-Australian full-back Alex Rance. However, already with a Premiership, Balta has become one of the best one on one defenders in the competition and looks to break out even further this season.


There is no doubt that the Tigers will be a dangerous threat to come up against this season. Their only downside is their senior players who were in the Richmond dynasty are perhaps on their last legs.

Brownlow medallist Trent Cotchin looks set to be adjusted into the forward line this season due to the younger boys coming through with the speed and stamina, whilst Cotchin has been coming in and out from injury.

Richmond is still going to be challenging to come up against this season with the help of recruiting gun players into the side. The Tigers are going to be difficult to play against.

Ladder Position: 5th