Richmond have confirmed that key forward Tom Lynch will play against St Kilda on Friday night at Metricon Stadium as Tigers coach Damien Hardwick took responsibility for the team's costly moments of ill-discipline in the qualifying final against the Brisbane Lions.
Lynch will have had a 28-day break from the hamstring injury he suffered against Geelong and although he had scans on a troublesome finger on Tuesday, the former Sun will line up for his fourth final on Friday night.
Tom Lynch will be back in the Tigers side for their semi-final against St Kilda.Credit:Getty Images
Hardwick said Lynch would have been 98 per cent right to play against Brisbane but the Tigers thought they would be disappointed if the punt did not pay off and they lost the premiership forward for the rest of the season as a result.
The dual premiership coach said the 50-metre penalties that led to Lions goals were enough to turn the game in Brisbane's favour and the team accepted it was an area that they needed to improve.
"They are a reflection of me. I just have to get harder on the discipline that is required in that part of the game," Hardwick said.
"We just have to make sure on-field it doesn't happen anymore. Territory is too valuable to lose to be giving away cheap free kicks."
Although the Saints will be without injured ruckman Paddy Ryder and key defender Jake Carlisle, Hardwick said the Tigers would prefer to give their ruckman Toby Nankervis some more support in the warm conditions.
Lynch is expected to replace Mabior Chol against the Saints although Hardwick said they were weighing up whether to retain Chol or go with a different combination for Nankervis to lead.
Richmond used two ruckmen in last year's grand final but a knee injury to Ivan Soldo and the absence of Callum Coleman-Jones due to a protocol breach meant they were forced to look at other alternatives this season.
He said he had not ruled out using an undersized ruck although they would contemplate what structure the Saints might use before making that decision.
"We'll have a look at something different for this weekend's game," Hardwick said.
Nathan Broad, Oleg Markov and Josh Caddy will be available for selection after playing in a practice match on the Gold Coast on Saturday while Hardwick said Prestia, who made a strong return from a syndesmosis injury against the Lions, will be better for the run.
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