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Nank to spend third week in the VFL

Hardwick previews Melbourne Damien Hardwick addresses the media at the Swinburne Centre ahead of the Round 20 match against Melbourne.

RICHMOND premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis will be forced to wait another week for his return after being ruled out of Saturday night's clash with Melbourne.

Nankervis will instead play in the VFL for a third consecutive week as he continues his comeback from a groin injury that kept him sidelined for two months.

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"The significance of his injury with the position he plays ... with the ability of him to be competitive in the ruck contests, we just feel it would be a really good decision for us to give him an extra week," coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday.

Toby Nankervis limping on the sidelines in round eight against Freo. Picture: AFL Photos

"Trying to tell 'Nank' that was pretty tough, as you can imagine. He's a very competitive man and wants to play.

"But he understands where we are at the moment and he also understands how important he is to the make-up of our side."

Hardwick said the form of incumbent rucks Ivan Soldo and Mabior Chol would make for a difficult selection call when Nankervis was ready to return.

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"Whether we go by a 'ruck by committee' approach going forward for the remainder of the year is yet to be seen - Soldo versus the talls, Nank versus possibly the smaller-type ruckman," Hardwick said.

"That's something that we've now got up our sleeve that we're really excited about."

Hardwick insisted the Tigers would not necessarily put Trent Cotchin (hamstring) on ice until the finals, although the skipper will miss at least the next two games