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Tigers to test department of youth in AFLX

Rutten on players to watch Assistant Coach, Ben Rutten speaks to the media at Richmond's community camp in Bendigo.
That continuing improvement from the younger guys will keep putting the pressure on the guys in the team
Ben Rutten

RICHMOND will join the ranks of those using AFLX to get a look at their team's youth, with the Tigers' big guns to give Saturday's tournament in Sydney a miss. 

Captain Trent Cotchin, Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin and All Australian captain Alex Rance are confirmed omissions from the Tigers' squad, which will be named on Wednesday. 

Forward Jack Riewoldt is also expected to sit out, as is Shaun Hampson, who has had a heavily managed pre-season because of his back issues, and Daniel Rioli, who is still rehabilitating the foot he broke in the Grand Final. 

Assistant coach Ben Rutten said the team wasn't finalised but would be structured around the expected explosive pace of the brand-new concept. 

"We'll pick the team that we think is firstly going to suit that style of play, although we haven't seen it so we're not sure what type of players [to pick]," Rutten said. 

"Also, it will be some of the guys who have had pretty good pre-seasons, we want to look to see a bit more competitive nature in them. 

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"At this stage, we're not going to be sending [Trent] Cotchin, [Alex] Rance and [Dustin] Martin up there, but the players that we're going to send up are going to have a real crack and (are) looking to put themselves on show, because we've got important pre-season games coming up."

The Tigers have experimented with the new format recently, starting with a friendly practice match against Hawthorn last weekend at Waverley.

They've also painted a rectangular playing field on Punt Road to further enhance their familiarity with the boundaries. 

The Tigers are in a pool with Greater Western Sydney, Sydney, Brisbane, the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast, and will face the Giants and Lions in the pool matches. 

Their tournament will be played at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon/evening. 

Assistant coach Justin Leppitsch and development coach Xavier Clarke will take the reins of the side for the competition. 

Rutten said the Tigers were looking for their younger players to stand up in AFLX and the upcoming JLT Community Series to put pressure on the seasoned players for selection in the home-and-away games. 

"We're always looking for improvement and it's going to come from guys like Jack Graham, who we saw at the end of last year," he said. 

"He came off no pre-season last year so he's starting to look like a different player shape-wise, he's really fit, so we're looking for him to continue to grow. 

"Corey Ellis, Connor Menadue, Oleg Markov, Jayden Short … that continuing improvement from the younger guys will keep putting the pressure on the guys in the team, which is how you're going to get the growth. 

"We're just looking to continually grow and improve and execute the best we can, and we've got a few good opportunities to show that in the JLT and AFLX next week as well where we'll look to build our season."