GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Josh Gibcus of the NAB AFL Academy kicks the ball during the match between the NAB AFL Academy and the Geelong Cats VFL side at GMHBA Stadium on April 24, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Richmond's top draftee Josh Gibcus will make his AFL debut on Thursday night against Carlton.

Gibcus joined the Tigers as the ninth overall selection in the 2021 National Draft, bolstering the Tigers' key defensive depths for the future.

Standing at 196cm, the Greater Western Victoria Rebels product is capable of playing both tall and small and has been touted as a ready-made asset for senior coach Damien Hardwick.

Drafted as the top-rated defender in his draft class, Gibcus will look to work under and alongside veteran pair Dylan Grimes and Robbie Tarrant across the course of the coming years.

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Speaking to his playing group ahead of their Tuesday training session, senior coach Damien Hardwick announced Gibus' selection - which was met with much celebration.

"We're really excited about what he brings," Hardwick said.

"He'll do some things that will amaze us and he'll obviously learn from experience as well.

"He's a long term player for us that we're really excited about."

With premiership backman Nick Vlastuin set to miss the early rounds of the season, Gibcus will fill a void in Richmond's defence.

Tarrant is set to make his club debut at the MCG this week as the Tigers look to extend their 11-game winning streak over the Blues.

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