Josh Gibcus in action during Richmond's match sim on January 31, 2024.

Richmond young gun Josh Gibcus is set to play his first game since the 2022 elimination final loss to Brisbane in Sunday's match simulation against Melbourne at Casey Fields. 

The 20-year-old didn't appear once in 2023 due to a complex hamstring tendon injury that required surgery last January and eventually resulted in a trip to an internationally renowned sports medicine practice in Qatar during the off-season. 

2024 RICHMOND MEMBERSHIP Options to suit everyone, including Reserved Seat, General Admission and non-access

After a gradual build across November and December, Gibcus has been in full training this side of Christmas, featuring in both match sims at Punt Road ahead of this weekend's practice match against the Demons. 

Gibcus played 18 games in an eye-catching debut season in 2022 after being selected at pick No.9 in the 2021 AFL Draft.

The young key defender now looks ready to resume his AFL career against Gold Coast in the Tigers' season-opener at Heritage Bank Stadium on March 9.

Former co-captain Dylan Grimes is back in contention to be there against Damien Hardwick's new side after managing a lingering calf issue across the pre-season. 

The 32-year-old banked the pre-Christmas block of the pre-season but missed most of January and early February with the issue. Grimes trained on Wednesday morning, putting him on track to play some minutes in the practice matches. 

Two-time premiership spearhead Tom Lynch returned to the main group on Saturday and is building towards a return against Carlton in round one after being ruled out of the trip to Queensland earlier this month. 

The 2022 Jack Dyer medallist hasn't played since breaking his foot in round four last year and needs to complete a decent conditioning block to mitigate the risk of soft tissue injuries before being given the green light to return, after not running for nine months following the injury.

Dion Prestia completed a modified program on Wednesday after suffering a minor hamstring setback at the start of the month but is expected to be available for the clash against his old side, with the triple premiership player aiming to feature in the practice match against Collingwood on February 27. 

Dustin Martin has overcome a minor ankle sprain and trained fully at the Swinburne Centre with the Brownlow medallist expected to feature in only one of the scratch matches, most likely against the Magpies at Ikon Park. 

Toby Nankervis is managing a sore foot and unlikely to feature this weekend, but the skipper isn't considered in any doubt for Opening Round at this stage.

East Perth forward Mitch Schofield and New Zealander Mykelti Lefau are both set to get a chance to impress for a spot on the rookie list in the practice match against Simon Goodwin's squad, which will be played across seven periods at this stage with first-choice teams to start the game. 

The pair joined the club when the pre-season supplemental selection period opened on November 27 and have completed the full program across the pre-season. Richmond has one spot open and could opt to leave a spot open for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft. 

After earning a debut in the final home and away round of 2023, where he showed he is capable of playing at the level, James Trezise has carried that momentum across his first pre-season at Punt Road, building a case to be picked in Adem Yze's first team in just over three weeks' time.


Rhyan Mansell has been one of the big improvers on the track over the pre-season as he fights for a permanent spot in Richmond's best 22 in 2024 after being the sub in his final three appearances of last season. 

Thomson Dow has caught the attention of the coaches, including new midfield coach Chris Newman, and looks set for greater opportunity this year after managing 17 senior appearances to date and no more than six in one season since being selected at pick No.21 in the 2019 AFL Draft.