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We love Jack’s passion: Cotchin

Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers marks the ball during the 2013 AFL round 04 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Collingwood Magpies at the MCG, Melbourne on April 20, 2013. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers marks the ball during the 2013 AFL round 04 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Collingwood Magpies at the MCG, Melbourne on April 20, 2013. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
He's played a real selfless role at times for the team; he's let Ty Vickery take control and Luke McGuane's stepped up.
Trent Cotchin

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has defended key forward Jack Riewoldt amid claims he let the Tigers down with his performance and body language against Fremantle last Friday night.

Riewoldt was labelled "a prima donna" by Carlton premiership forward Mark Maclure after he was animated with teammates immediately after the one-point loss at Patersons Stadium.

North Melbourne premiership star David King said the Coleman Medallist "complained and sooked and carried on".

Maclure has since said Riewoldt's behaviour needs to be controlled by his teammates, but Cotchin said the Tigers' leadership group had no issue with "the way he wears his heart on his sleeve".

"He's a passionate guy," Cotchin said.

"He loves the footy club and he loves playing footy.

"He's a fantastic person and we love playing with him.

"Whether or not people from the outside world think he's doing the wrong thing, we don't have any issues with the way he wears his heart on his sleeve.

"It's probably something you don't notice as much on-field. I think it comes across a little bit worse on TV."

Riewoldt, who was held to one goal by opponent Luke McPharlin, has kicked 16 goals this season and has been praised by coach Damien Hardwick for playing a selfless role when needed.

Cotchin said the 24-year-old was playing an important role for the team and leading in his own way.  

"You only have to look at the way he's been playing for the first five rounds of this year.

"He's played a real selfless role at times for the team; he's let Ty Vickery take control and Luke McGuane's stepped up.

"He's always speaking and he's always giving direction to the younger guys and the forward line. 

"He's doing a lot of things right and the impact he's having on the younger guys coming into the team is really good."

Richmond takes on Geelong at the MCG on Saturday night and will be looking to end an eight-game losing streak against the undefeated Cats.

Cotchin said the Tigers, who have suffered back-to-back defeats against Collingwood and Fremantle, were ready for the challenge against "the in-form team in the competition".   

"They've brought some real speed into their midfield, which is probably a bit different to what they've had in the past," he said.

"We want to be the best midfield that we can be and Geelong are really setting the standard in that area at the moment. We need to take it up to them."

Cotchin was at Reservoir West Primary School on Wednesday morning to deliver sporting equipment for students collected through the Coles Sports for Schools program in 2012.

A former student at the school where his older sister is a teacher, Cotchin visited his younger sister's year one class and took part in a kick-to-kick session with students.

"It's nice to be back to where it all started for me," he said.

"Mum comes in a couple of times a week to help out with reading classes and I believe Dad might have done some of the cabinet work around the offices and in the offices.

"It's pretty strong family ties."