Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has conceded his underperforming side needs to better handle the "swings and roundabouts" of this unique AFL season.

The Tigers started the week expecting to play West Coast but the Queensland Government's refusal to welcome Victorians meant they were rescheduled to face Melbourne on Sunday.

"Acceptance is a big thing. This season, overall, has been a season of distractions," Hardwick said on Friday.

09:34 Mins
Published on

Hardwick previews Melbourne

Damien Hardwick addresses the media from the Swinburne Centre ahead of the Round 5 clash against Melbourne

Published on

"It's the side that best gets a handle on those distractions and realises they are what they are (that) is going to flourish.

"At the moment, I'd probably say, 'Are we handling it to the best of our ability?'. We're going OK. Could we handle it better? Absolutely. But a lot of clubs are in the same boat.

Game Day Hub

Everything you need to know ahead of Richmond's Round 5 clash against Melbourne on Sunday.

"All I will say is we're dying to get there (to the interstate hub) and we're dying to play."

Both Richmond and Melbourne have just one win, with Hardwick saying one of Ryan Garthwaite or Noah Balta would replace David Astbury (knee) in his side's backline, while Jake Aarts will make his senior debut.