Contracted Richmond defender Daniel Rioli has played a straight bat in his response to questions surrounding his future at Punt Road.

Speculation surrounding the three-time premiership Tiger sparked following a recent catchup with former coach Damien Hardwick, whose Suns are keen to bolster their backline stocks.

Hardwick shot down any suggestion of the pair's meeting last month being around a potential reunion at Carrara beyond 2024, stating it was a "personal visit" for Rioli who spent time in Queensland during an extended break for the Tigers to celebrate his birthday.

"I've known Dan for 10 years. He lived with me for two or three, so it would be weird if I didn't catch up with him when he was up here on holidays," Hardwick said at the time.

Rioli's name has continued to be tied to a potential move north despite his contract status in the yellow and black for a further three seasons beyond this year, with the 27-year-old questioned on his future when speaking to media on Monday.

When asked about where he'll potentially be playing next season, Rioli said his focus is on helping turn the struggling Tigers around under new coach Adem Yze.

"I'm contracted until 2027. Right now I'm focussing on this team and getting these boys better," Rioli said.

"I'm a young leader myself, I've been in the system for nine years now and I'm just trying to play happy footy.

Daniel Rioli and Shai Bolton during Richmond's open training on December 20, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

"All I'm focussing on is this year and getting this team to where we want to go - getting better every day and rocking up with smiles on our faces.

"I don't wanna drag the media about whatever is going on, it's background noise. I love the Tiger Army."

Rioli has played 170 games for Richmond since his debut in 2016, with the Fremantle and Tiwi Islands product transitioning from a small forward to a dashing defender in the later stages of his time under Hardwick.

The past three years have seen the gun Tiger become a reliable asset at half-back for Richmond, with Rioli going on to earn a spot in the All-Australian squad in 2022.

While his future is currently tied to the Tigers on a contract signed that year, Richmond have a plethora of looming calls to make on a series of stalwarts from their premiership years.

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Liam Baker, Dustin Martin, Dion Presita, Toby Nankervis, Jack Graham, Rhyan Mansell and Dylan Grimes are among the 20-plus players without deals for 2025 ar the club.

Baker looms as a priority re-signing for Richmond, while Martin's future is clouded as the triple Norm Smith Medal winner potentially weighs up calling time on his career at the cessation of this year.