Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has added to the discussion around the AFL's medical substitute option, telling reporters that teams should have the option to sub out a player regardless of injury when their opposition has activated their substitute.

"Parity is such a big thing in the sport," said Hardwick.

"I'm not saying that (the substitute) is an advantage, because (the opposition) lost a player, but the fact that they get to bring on a fresh player, it’d be nice if we had the option.”

Speaking ahead of Richmond's Saturday night clash with the Western Bulldogs, Hardwick indicated that a change to the substitute rule would also have support from the AFL Coaches Association - who he said had discussed a change with the AFL.

"At the end of the day, it's an AFL decision ... I think most coaches would probably agree with the philosophy," Hardwick said.

“If 18 clubs are in favour of it, then maybe (the AFL) should look at it."

Hardwick said he believes that after three-quarter time, the use of the substitute should be up to a coach's discretion - which he believes would add to the excitement of a game.

Richmond are 1-2 ahead of Saturday night's contest, but will regain both Jack Riewoldt and Dion Prestia for the clash after the pair were injured in the season opener.


Prestia is required to simply get through training, while Riewoldt, who Hardwick says "probably could have played last week," is raring to go after a thumb injury suffered against Carlton.

The news is less positive for hamstrung co-captain Dylan Grimes, who was subbed out of the Tigers' loss to St Kilda and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a "hopefully stock-standard" injury.

“We’ll be relatively conservative with Dylan ... we’ll take our time with it, and make sure we get it right," said Hardwick.

Hardwick said his side was working to address their last-quarter fade-outs that have seen the Tigers blow leads to Carlton and St Kilda, as Richmond's midfield struggled to lay their hands on the football.

"We’ve been in front in the last quarter in all the games we’ve played, we’ve just finished a couple of games quite disappointingly," he said.

“We’ve been playing some pretty good footy, but not quite the 120 minutes that we need.”

Hardwick said he was “really happy" with Richmond's offensive game, saying "we haven’t had the opportunity to score because (the ball) hasn’t gone in there.”

Ben Miller will likely return to the senior side, while uncapped defender Bigoa Nyuon is also an option after impressing in Richmond's VFL team - which were defeated by Sandringham.

Noah Balta is likely to remain forward as Richmond continue to allow gun rookie Josh Gibcus to develop in their senior backline.

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Meanwhile, draftee Tyler Sonsie is close to senior selection after a 34-disposal, seven tackle performance in the VFL loss.

“He looks like an AFL player to us," said Hardwick.

"He's got to work on his fitness and get that part of the equation up to speed, but he's done a power of work over the course of the time he's been with us.

“I can see him playing for us in the not-too-distant future, whether that’s this week we’re not too sure, but he’s certainly put his hand up.”

Hardwick also mentioned a chance encounter with Victorian MP Martin Foley in Elwood, whom with he "had a chuckle with" over comments the Tiger coach had made about Covid close contact rules

"(He's) a good fella actually, so I bought him a cup of coffee," Hardwick laughed.