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Senior Tigers throw support behind VFL colleagues

'Business as usual' for Astbury Dave Astbury speaks to the media in the build-up to the preliminary final.

Richmond is just one of two sides still in the AFL finals race which still has a state league team in action (Brisbane's NEAFL side play in this weekend's Grand Final).

The Tigers' VFL side plays in a preliminary final against Port Melbourne on Saturday, causing a bit of a split in training.

FINALS Visit the 2019 Finals Hub for all the details on Richmond's preliminary final

On Wednesday, the players in contention to play VFL – including Dan Butler, Kamdyn McIntosh and Marlion Pickett – did not train with the rest of the senior side, with their run-through pushed to the evening with the remainder of the VFL side.

Sydney Stack (ankle) completed handball drills on the sidelines, along with Alex Rance (ACL) and Nathan Broad (light training load).

"It's not only support for us, but for us to have an opportunity to support them is really huge. The (VFL) result here against Essendon a couple of weeks ago was quite extraordinary and very uplifting," Richmond defender Davis Astbury said at a press conference today.

"We're just excited nearly every player on our list has the opportunity to play football this time of year. The support's been huge from the boys, and we can't wait till Saturday to support them too."

Astbury said while his role hadn't changed this season without star defender Rance, he was impressed with the form shown by new All Australian teammates Dylan Grimes and Bachar Houli.

"The testament of a system is what happens when one of the most significant players goes out of the side, to see how it copes then," Astbury said.

"True to form, 'Rancey' has done an amazing job in supporting us and he's been a big part of our 2019 campaign, even though he's only played one match of footy. Other guys have stepped up and we've seen development from a number of guys in the back half.

"I feel like those guys are improving with 'Rancey' in the side anyway, whether [his injury] was the catalyst for a big step forward for those guys, I'm not sure and we won't really know, but … the development and execution from those guys weekend to weekend has been unbelievable. It's a true sign of the character of the group we've got."