MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Ben Mcevoy of the Hawks is tackled during the round three AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 8, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon has slammed the AFL’s decision to place the Richmond vs Hawthorn qualifying final on Thursday night, instead of on the Friday.

Before the schedule was confirmed on Sunday night, it was widely expected the Tigers would host the Hawks on Friday night, with the other qualifying final between West Coast and Collingwood touted for the Thursday timeslot.

However, the AFL decided to kick off the finals with the reigning premiers, and Garry Lyon voiced his displeasure on SEN Breakfast on Monday morning.

“They’re on Thursday night. That’s staggering,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.

“Richmond and Hawthorn on a school night. What about those in the country that’ve got to get back for school?

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“If you’re a Richmond or Hawthorn supporter, you’re thinking what the hell? The Tigers finished on top, they should have the prime picking.”

Last season, the AFL decided to play the Thursday night final in Adelaide, with Richmond hosting Geelong in a Friday night blockbuster that saw 90,000 people attend.