AFL Rd 9 - Western Bulldogs v Richmond
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Dustin Martin of the Tigers is tackled during the round nine AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Richmond Tigers at Metricon Stadium on July 29, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has spoken on the club's plans moving forward ahead of a big game against the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Tigers have had a rollercoaster start to the season, currently sitting with one win, one loss and a draw.

Hardwick was full of praise for the Bulldogs side, in particular their key forwards Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Rory Lobb and Aaron Naughton, but welcomed the challenge.

"Really challenging- tall and athletic aren't they?" he told reporters on Thursday. "It'll be a really good challenge for our boys."

Hardwick said that the Tigers' style of moving the ball forward has been a key area to address.

"The offensive part of the game is a little bit harder at the moment," the Tigers coach said.

"What we've gotta do is get better with our forward half connection, we think a couple of personnel changes might change a few things up this week. We expect that to get a little bit better this week."

However, when speaking on how they held up defensively the last few weeks, Hardwick was full of praise for his side's efforts against Collingwood.

"We did defend well. We kept a side whose scored over 100 points every game they've played, even practice matches, to 63," he said.

Richmond has also had quite a few key players under injury clouds, with Robbie Tarrant yet to appear at AFL level. Tarrant played managed minutes in the VFL last weekend against Coburg as he eyes a return from a hip injury.

"He played a half on the weekend, he looks a class above that level obviously as he should, he's an incredible player for us," Hardwick said.

Robbie Tarrant during the 2022 AFL Round 19 match between Richmond and Fremantle (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"He pulled up a little bit sore initially, but he'll be out there today. He'll take a little bit of time, it's one of those ones we've just got to make sure when he right he's ready to go."

Hardwick will have Dustin Martin and Jacob Hopper named in the team this weekend after being touch-and-go last weekend.

"We expect those boys to come in and be firing for a really important game for us against the Bulldogs," he said.

Toby Nankervis will also play after undertaking limited training due to management, with the Richmond co-captain less certain to play.

Richmond will play the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Saturday, kicking off at 4:35pm (AEST).