Tigers could rest VFL grand final players

Nathan Broad is one of several Richmond players who could miss this weekend's VFL grand final.
Nathan Broad is one of several Richmond players who could miss this weekend's VFL grand final.

Richmond are bracing for some big AFL grand final selection calls, with Jack Graham and Nathan Broad in a race against time to prove their fitness.

Graham was one of the heroes of Friday night's hard-fought preliminary final against Geelong, playing out the game despite a dislocated right shoulder.

Broad also suffered a concussion in a "friendly fire" collision with teammate Jayden Short and had to leave the game.

On Saturday the Tigers confirmed both players would be given every opportunity to play, with Graham to "undertake some rehabilitation and strengthening work" on his dislocated shoulder.

Broad would undergo standard concussion protocol.

Coach Damien Hardwick said they would consider resting several players from Sunday's VFL grand final against Williamstown as cover.

Mabior Chol, Dan Butler, Jack Ross and Marlion Pickett were their emergencies for Friday night's clash.

Sydney Stack also will return on Sunday from an ankle injury and the Rising Star nominee will try to mount his case for a stunning AFL grand final recall.

Captain Trent Cotchin had several ice packs on his legs post-match and fellow star Dustin Martin also looked proppy following a leg knock but they are not considered doubtful for the AFL grand final.

"That's probably a strong possibility," Hardwick said when asked about pulling players out of the VFL decider.

Hardwick lauded the courage of Graham, who clearly was struggling with his shoulder when he returned to the game.

"If I'm going to be honest, we packed him up at halftime," he said.

"We asked whether he could go and he said 'Yep, I can do it'. That effort was simply incredible."

Richmond recovered from trailing by 21 points at halftime to win by 19 and book their second grand final in three years.

Hardwick said the 2017 premiers had grown from a year ago, when they also struck early trouble against Collingwood in the preliminary final and failed to recover.

He noted Richmond had recovered to beat West Coast in round 22 and then take care of Brisbane in their qualifying final.

"Everyone looks to throw the first punch, but it's whether your team can actually absorb a punch," he said.

"We've shown that."

One of the keys All-Australian was defender Bachar Houli, who had an outstanding game.

Hardwick said Houli, 31, was among Richmond's best in their three elimination final losses from 2013-15.

"He's just become an incredible Richmond player ... he just gets better with age," he said.

Hardwick added that given their injury problems this year, it had been a great effort just to make the grand final.

The coach recalled in his playing career at Essendon and Port Adelaide, he played in seven preliminary finals for only three wins.

"They're bloody hard to win ... this side is a hell of a side," he said.

"Whichever way we go, I'm incredibly proud of these blokes.".

Australian Associated Press