MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Xavier Clarke #3 for the Saints in action during the round thirteen AFL match between The St.Kilda Saints and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Telstra Dome on June 18, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ex-Saint Xavier Clarke joins Richmond coaching staff

Former St Kilda player and No.5 draft pick Xavier Clarke has joined Richmond as a development coach.

The 33-year-old, who played 105 games for the Saints before 2002 and 2009, has been coaching NEAFL side, the Northern Territory Thunder for the past three seasons, winning the NEAFL Coach of the Year in 2014.

He also led the side to the premiership in 2015 and was awarded NT Sports Awards Coach of the Year in 2016.

“Xavier has a broad and diverse experience, in both coaching and football programming, and we’re really excited with what he’ll bring to our football Club,” Richmond’s General Manager of Football, Neil Balme said.

“His experience with the AFL’s Indigenous pathway programs, and the responsibility of coaching his own team with NT Thunder has provided him opportunities to develop and lead emerging footballers, and we’re looking forward to him bringing those skills and experience to Richmond.

“In addition to that, his knowledge and expertise in Indigenous engagement will support the extensive programming that our Club and the Korin Gamadji Institute already deliver, including the Richmond Academy – our Next Generation Academy Program.”

Clarke is the third addition to the Tigers’ coaching group this season, joining Blake Caracella and Justin Leppitsch at Punt Road.