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It’s the end of an era at the Hawthorn Hawks as Alastair Clarkson coaches his final game against reigning premiers the Richmond Tigers. Follow along with live scores on The Roar from 1:35pm (AEST).
After 17 years, 389 games and four premierships in charge at the Hawks, Clarkson’s time at the helm of one of the AFL’s greatest eras is over. It has been a turbulent season at the club, who have been widely criticised for their handling of the coaching succession plan that will see Sam Mitchell take the reins in 2022.
Clarkson is hardly going quietly into the night, however; the Hawks’ remarkable improvement in recent weeks, with wins over Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs and a draw with ladder-leaders Melbourne, will make him hot property for any clubs with a coaching vacancy for the next few years. It also means the Hawks, despite sitting 14th on the ladder, are favourites against a Tigers outfit that needs to win to keep their finals hopes alive.
As extra incentive for the Hawks, 400-game legend Shaun Burgoyne will also be wrapping up after this match, in a double send-off for two legends of the club.
While the Tigers are still mathematically in the finals hunt, last week’s humbling loss to GWS has all but confirmed they will miss out on September action. To make the eight, the Tigers would need one Essendon, Fremantle and West Coast to all lose, as well as making up a 10 per cent percentage gap to the Bombers. Not even they could pull that off.
They have farewells of their own, with triple-premiership defenders David Astbury and Bachar Houli announcing their retirements mid-week, though only Astbury is right to play.
Damien Hardwick has been forced to make a whopping nine changes for this match, including ruckman Toby Nankervis, captain Trent Cotchin and stars Kane Lambert, Dion Prestia and Shane Edwards. For the Hawks, Luke Breust, James Worpel and Jaeger O’Meara are all back.
B: 2 Dylan Grimes, 46 Ben Miller, 12 David Astbury
HB: 15 Jayden Short, 1 Nick Vlastuin, 17 Daniel Rioli
C: 34 Jack Graham, 27 Thomson Dow, 33 Kamdyn McIntosh
HF: 37 Matthew Parker, 7 Liam Baker, 50 Marlion Pickett
F: 19 Tom Lynch, 29 Shai Bolton, 8 Jack Riewoldt
FOL: 40 Callum Coleman-Jones, 26 Riley Collier-Dawkins, 36 Will Martyn
I/C: 5 Jack Ross, 11 Jason Castagna, 41 Mabior Chol, 44 Sydney Stack
EMG: 6 Patrick Naish, 16 Jake Aarts, 42 Ryan Garthwaite, 45 Hugo Ralphsmith
IN: David Astbury, Jack Ross, Jason Castagna, Kamdyn McIntosh, Mabior Chol, Marlion Pickett, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Will Martyn, Ben Miller (debut)
OUT: Dion Prestia, Hugo Ralphsmith, Kane Lambert, Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin, Toby Nankervis, Ryan Garthwaite, Maurice Rioli, Rhyan Mansell
B: 23 Tim O’Brien, 28 Kyle Hartigan, 8 Sam Frost
HB: 9 Shaun Burgoyne, 14 Jack Scrimshaw, 15 Blake Hardwick
C: 17 Daniel Howe, 10 Jaeger O’Meara, 21 Tom Phillips
HF: 22 Luke Breust, 2 Mitch Lewis, 11 Conor Nash
F: 20 Chad Wingard, 7 Ben McEvoy (c), 34 Jacob Koschitzke
FOLL: 18 Jonathon Ceglar, 3 Tom Mitchell, 5 James Worpel
INT: 1 Harry Morrison, 13 Oliver Hanrahan, 16 Lachlan Bramble, 26 Liam Shiels
EMG: 35 Josh Morris, 41 Connor Downie, 42 Tyler Brockman, 44 Jai Newcombe
IN: James Worpel, Luke Breust, Jaeger O’Meara
OUT: Jai Newcombe, Connor Downie, Tyler Brockman