MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Proud Noongar man Paddy Ryder of the Saints poses for a photo wearing the 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round Indigenous Jumper designed by fellow Naoongar man and St Kilda legend Nicky Winmar during a portrait session in the St Kilda Saints 2021 Sir Douglas Nicholls AFL Round Indigenous Jumper at RSEA Park on May 17, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

St Kilda could trial three ruck options for their Round 3 clash with Richmond, with senior coach Brett Ratten potentially ready to deploy Rowan Marshall, Jack Hayes and the returning Paddy Ryder for Sunday's clash at Marvel Stadium.

The Saints have been buoyed by Hayes' inclusion, with the Supplemental Selection Period signing having played a significant role in Ratten's side across the opening fortnight of the season.

While the South Australian's unexpected and immediate impact at AFL level has been one of several positives for the Saints, it has caused a selection headache for Ratten as the club welcomes back their veteran tall in Ryder for this weekend.

The former Essendon and Port Adelaide ruckman has missed the club's opening fixtures against the Magpies and Dockers due to a calf complaint, returning through the VFL for Sandringham last week where he recorded 11 disposals, six marks and 26 hit-outs.

Ryder will now need to share ruck duties with the incumbent Marshall and exciting Hayes as the Saints attempt to combat Richmond's ruck tandem.

"We are going to have a look at it [playing all three]. We had a little bit of an experiment here today with being taller and smaller. We will finalise that today. It's going to be touch and go either way," Ratten told media on Thursday, per AFL.com.au. 

"Jack's put his best foot forward and played some really good footy for our footy club and the players love playing with him so we will see how that pans out."

Tigers duo Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo were able to dismantle Giant Matthew Flynn in Round 2, prompting further considerations to play multiple recognised ruckmen.

The Kangaroos had gambled on using three talls in their season opener against Hawthorn, a move that backfired for senior coach David Noble as trio Tristan Xerri, Todd Goldstein and Callum Coleman-Jones were unable to conjure a win in Round 1.

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The Saints will boast a more athletic and versatile ruck three-piece than the Roos, with all three of their talls also recognised as key forward options capable of featuring alongside attacking pair Max King and Tim Membrey.

Along with Ryder, the Saints will welcome the return of key defender Dougal Howard from the AFL's health and safety protocols, prompting further changes to Ratten's side for Round 3.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Dan Hannebery congratulates Jack Steele of the Saints after winning the round one AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium on March 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The club will be without veteran Dan Hannerbery for an extended period, with Ratten confirming on Thursday that the midfielder will miss up to eight weeks after requiring surgery on a hampered calf.

Senior Saint Jarryn Geary will make his return from shoulder surgery through the VFL for the Zebras this week as they face Richmond at Trevor Barker Oval.