FOR THE first time in nearly 10 years, Richmond will have a new captain for the 2022 season.

Trent Cotchin was just 22 when he took the reins ahead of the 2013 season, and is the club's longest serving captain with 188 games under his belt, not to mention three premierships in four years.

The 31-year-old, who is contracted for 2022, has announced he will step down from the role next year, having led the team to an equal-club record seven finals series.

The Tigers have a decision to make – will they go for a short-term option, or back another youngster to follow in Cotchin's footsteps as a long-term leader?

Richmond has traditionally had a very small leadership group of two or three people, meaning there are plenty of options outside of the core few.

01:20 Mins
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Thank you captain Cotch

Watch some of Trent Cotchin's finest moments during his time as Richmond captain.

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SHANE EDWARDS

Pips Jack Riewoldt by a number of days for the oldest player on the list. Like his good mate, Edwards has also captained the club on a number of occasions, most notably for a stint in 2019 when injuries hit hard. Again, will be overlooked if a longer-term captain is wanted. 

JACK GRAHAM

The heir apparent, but at only 23, will the Tigers take the plunge? He is a year older than when Cotchin was given the job, but the team was in a very different position at that stage. Graham captained South Australia's under-18 side and is a consistent and strong performer.

00:25 Mins
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Round 18: This cracking goal looks more like the Tigers

Richmond produce a mesmerising team goal through Jack Graham.

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DYLAN GRIMES

Has captained the team already in the odd pre-season match, and is a noted leader, particularly of the backline. Given he's 30, the club may opt for a younger option, but the reigning Jack Dyer medallist would be a steady and sound choice for a couple of years.

KANE LAMBERT

A bit left-field, but no one can question Lambert's workrate and on-field performance. Quiet but well-spoken, Lambert has been on the periphery of Richmond's leadership group for several years. Age (nearly 30) and injury concerns could count against him.

00:52 Mins
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Round 20: Lung-bursting Lambert puts one through

Kane Lambert kicks an important goal for Richmond.

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TOM LYNCH

Richmond already has a former AFL captain on its hands in the ex-Gold Coast skipper. Lynch, along with now-Demon Steven May, led the Suns in 2017 and 2018 before making the switch to Richmond.

DUSTIN MARTIN

There's no doubt Martin is the Tigers' spiritual leader. No one has done more for the club in big moments on the field, particularly when inspiring a comeback. Could conceivably hold the role in a co-captaining arrangement, but given how reserved and media-shy the superstar is off the field, a sole role looks unlikely.

00:52 Mins
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Round 13: Martin and Bolton combine again

The frightening partnership of Shai Bolton and Dustin Martin proves deadly against the Eagles in this sizzling goal.

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TOBY NANKERVIS

A surprising fan push on social media. Notoriously not a big fan of media commitments (who can forget when he brushed off "Roaming Brian" Taylor?), but Nankervis' on-field credentials are strong, dragging the Tigers over the line in a number of cut-throat games, most notably the 2019 preliminary final.

JACK RIEWOLDT

Set to turn 33 in late October, Riewoldt has been Cotchin's long-term deputy, and led the side on a number of occasions this year. Incredibly well spoken, the only thing counting against Riewoldt would be if the club is looking for a longer-term option.

01:50 Mins
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'Arguably the greatest captain of Richmond' - Riewoldt

Jack Riewoldt speaks to AFL 360 to discuss Trent Cotchin stepping down as captain.

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NICK VLASTUIN

At 27, the half-back flanker is the obvious choice for a medium-term option. Held leadership positions as a junior, captaining Vic Metro, and has also led the Tigers in a pre-season match. Is a natural media performer for that side of the job.