Dashing defender Daniel Rioli has committed his long-term future to Richmond, putting pen to paper on a five-year deal this week.
The contract extension will see the 25-year-old, who has played 135 games since being selected with Richmond’s first pick in the 2015 AFL National Draft, tied to the Club until the end of 2027.
Recruited from North Ballarat Rebels via the Tiwi Islands, Rioli earned his stripes as a creative pressure forward across over 100 senior games before flourishing in defence late last season.
The three-time premiership forward has since excelled as a rebounding weapon for the Tigers, using his pace, anticipation, and excellent kicking to become a well-rounded member of the team’s first choice back six.
Rioli ranks #2 at Richmond for disposals, intercepts, and metres gained, #3 for score launches, and #4 for marks this campaign. A four-goal hero in the Club’s breakthrough preliminary final win in 2017, Rioli has also added nine majors in 2022.
The 25-year-old said it felt “amazing” to commit to a long-term deal at a Club he felt so strongly connected with.
“It’s awesome, I am basically a Tiger for life now and I would not want to be anywhere else,” he said.
“Walking into the Club every day and seeing your teammates and all the brother boys I have formed strong ties with, it is pretty special.
“You get to see all your best mates, and you do not get to do that anywhere else. Probably the (other main) reason I signed as well is because I know the future is looking bright for us.
“My little uncle Maurice is coming through now as well; playing alongside him is something I never thought I would get a chance to do, it is a dream come true.”
Richmond General Manager- Football Talent, Blair Hartley added that Rioli’s five-year contract extension was a reward for his hunger and willingness to improve and adapt his game.
“Daniel has worked extremely hard since first coming to the Club and has been rewarded with success across the journey,” Hartley said.
“He has moved to a new role across half back and has fully embraced that challenge. Daniel has worked hard behind the scenes to take his game to another level, which is a credit to him.
“We are delighted Daniel has committed his long-term future to Richmond and are excited about how he will continue to grow as a footballer, person, and leader across the next five years.”