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Star Tigers out of Anzac Day eve AFL clash

Nick Vlastuin has played 99 AFL games since his debut for Richmond in 2013.Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has confirmed Josh Caddy and Nick Vlastuin will not be fit to take on Melbourne in the AFL on Anzac Day eve.
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Hardwick would not reveal the nature of their injuries when he spoke to reporters on Monday but conceded the pair will join suspended youngster Jack Graham on the sidelines.

“Nick and Josh won’t make it for this game … they’re a little bit short (of fitness) at the moment,” Hardwick said.

“We’ve got some replacements ready to go for those boys, it’s disappointing obviously, but that’s the nature of our game.

“You lose a couple and you bring a couple in.

“We’ve got some really good players in good form at VFL level that we’re happy to play.”

Their absence leaves the door open for Nathan Broad to end his AFL exile after serving a club-imposed ban over the first three rounds of the season.

Broad, Sam Lloyd and Jack Higgins were kept out of the Tigers’ VFL match at the weekend and appear the likely replacements for the MCG showdown.

Higgins kicked two goals on debut against Hawthorn and was perhaps unlucky to be dropped for last week’s 93-point win over Brisbane.

The Demons will be out to prove they’re a better side than was on display in a 67-point thrashing at the hands of the Hawks last week.

“Melbourne are a high-contest, high-pressure side, as are we, so it’s going to be a fierce contest regardless of last week,” Hardwick said.

“We can only go on what we know and the numbers indicate it’s going to be that type of contest.

“And we embrace that and accept that.”

The reigning premiers are fourth with a 3-1 record going into the clash and have the opportunity to go top with a win.

Melbourne, widely tipped to be big improvers this season, are 14th with a 2-2 record.

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