Kane McAuliffe boosted his prospects of a return to Richmond’s senior side for the next round with a strong performance at VFL level against Footscray yesterday at Punt Road.

The powerfully-built, talented, teenage, inside midfielder showcased his contest work, spearing left-foot kicks and capacity to hit the scoreboard throughout the match.

He finished with a team-high 25 disposals, two eye-catching goals, nine clearances and 10 tackles in the Tigers’ 31-point loss to the unbeaten Bulldogs.

McAuliffe, recruited by Richmond with its first pick (No. 40 overall) in the 2023 AFL national draft, made his senior debut for the Tigers in this year’s Gather Round against St Kilda at Norwood Oval as the substitute.

He played a full game the following week against West Coast at Optus Stadium but was then dropped back to the VFL team.

McAuliffe’s form since has been impressive, culminating with his top-class display against the Dogs yesterday.

With Richmond having to make at least three changes for Saturday night’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba because of injuries to Jack Graham and Maurice Rioli Jr, and Sam Banks being in concussion protocols, McAuliffe surely must be right in contention for a call-up to the senior side.