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Richmond finalise AFL coaching structure

Richmond has finalised its coaching structure for 2020, with VFL premiership coach Craig McRae to move into the AFL program as a line coach.

McRae, who was awarded the AFLCA Assistant Coach of the Year and VFL Coach of the Year in 2019, will lead the Tigers’ forwards group.

Andrew McQualter, who this year oversaw the Tigers' forward line, will return to the midfield to assume responsibility for ball movement.

McQualter will work alongside Adam Kingsley who will continue his focus on stoppages.

Xavier Clarke will take the reins of the VFL team and will be assisted by Ryan Ferguson (backs) and Sam Lonergan (midfielders). 

It is Clarke’s second top state league coaching role, having previously been senior coach at NT Thunder (2014-16) in the NEAFL, where he led the side to the 2015 premiership.

Ferguson will also pick up added responsibility in 2020 as a key resource for coaches within Richmond’s Next Generation Academy region. He will also oversee the programs and development of identified players from the area. 

Justin Leppitsch will remain as the AFL Backs coach and Defensive Coordinator after an excellent season looking after the defence.

Richmond was the #1 defensive team in the AFL during their unbeaten post-bye run, conceding over 70 points just once. 

Ivan Maric will continue in his ruck coaching role after a season which saw the emergence of Ivan Soldo, Mabior Chol and Callum Coleman-Jones.

Richmond Head of Coaching and Football Performance, Tim Livingstone said that the Club was incredibly proud of its team of coaches. 

Given their experience and strengths we know these changes will lead to further growth in both our players and the coaches themselves,” he said. 

Richmond 2020 coaching structure:

Senior coach: Damien Hardwick
Assistant coach, backline/defence: Justin Leppitsch
Assistant coach, midfield/stoppage: Adam Kingsley
Assistant coach, midfield/offensive: Andrew McQualter
Assistant coach, forwards: Craig McRae
VFL & Development coach (forwards): Xavier Clarke
Development coach and VFL backline: Ryan Ferguson
Development coach and VFL midfield: Sam Lonergan
Ruck coach: Ivan Maric