MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: Ed Richards of the Bulldogs runs with the ball during the round eight AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs defender Ed Richards is understood to be on the radar of rival clubs, as security in the Dogs’ senior side remains a tough task to lock down, per The Herald Sun.

Richards is currently recovering from injury after fracturing his fibula in a VFL practice match earlier this year before requiring surgery.

The setback has placed Richards on the sidelines for an extended period, with a timeframe of at least three weeks still ahead for the 21-year-old to return.

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During his spell in the casualty ward the Bulldogs have launched to a 5-0 start to their 2021 campaign and look to be taking the next step in their premiership bid.

Speaking on SEN radio, Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes believes Adelaide would be an ideal landing spot for the youngster.

“Geez Adelaide could use him I reckon, in multiple positions,” he told SEN SA Breakfast.

“I’d be putting a call in 100 per cent if I was Adelaide.

“He fits their rebuild age demographically, plays multiple positions, has speed, he’s tough and he’s got a lot of talent. That’s where I’d be aiming.”

With a star-studded midfield, coach Luke Beveridge has managed to divide his star onballers between the engine room and attack whilst being able to rely on his steady defence.

The Bulldogs are the only club to concede less than 300 points so far this year, thanks to the likes of Bailey Williams, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale, Alex Keath, Easton Wood, Jason Johannisen and Taylor Duryea.

High-flyer Hayden Crozier made his return to the side from injury in the Bulldogs’ 10-goal win over the Suns on Saturday and will look add to his impressive 2020 season.

Beveridge isn’t short on senior options in defence and would likely see Richards as a reinforcement for injury or viable medical substitute role player.

The out-of-contract speedster has shown value to the Bulldogs but could be pried away from Whitten Oval should job security and tempting offers from rival clubs be placed on the table.

Edwards has played 58 games from three seasons at the Kennel across several roles in offering run and carry between small-forward, wing and half-back.

The Bulldogs are sure to prioritise the re-signings of captain Marcus Bontempelli and midfielder Tom Liberatore, which are understood to be close to finalised.

The Bulldogs will travel to Canberra ahead of their Friday night clash with the Giants in hope of extending their unbeaten start to six games.