Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was rapt with Riley Collier-Dawkins’ AFL debut in last night’s 22-point victory over the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.

Collier-Dawkins, who was the Tigers’ first pick (No. 20) in the 2018 national draft, had 14 disposals, five clearances, with a team-high three centre clearances and five tackles.

The 21-year-old inside midfielder clearly did not look out of place on the big Friday night stage.

“I thought it (his debut) was really good . . . He had 11 contested possessions and that’s the thing in his game we love,” Hardwick said.

11:40 Mins
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Round 7: Hardwick post-match

Damien Hardwick speaks to the media following the Round 7 win against the Western Bulldogs.

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“He had a couple of really crucial centre-bounce clearances that he won.

“He’s hard and tough, and he’s only going to get better for the experience.

“It’s funny, some players are okay at the lower level (VFL), but then, when they get picked to play AFL level, they become better. And I think he’s one of those guys.

“So, it was a really exciting debut for him.

“We really liked what we saw.”

Collier-Dawkins told Richmond Media post-game how thrilled he was with the way his debut panned out.

“It was awesome . . . a dream come true, obviously,” he told Richmond Media.

01:08 Mins
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Round 7: Collier-Dawkins post-match

Riley Collier-Dawkins speaks to Richmond Media following the Round 7 win against the Western Bulldogs.

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“I’m pretty cold at the moment, but just rapt to get the win.

“The Tiger Army is so loud.

“I loved every minute of it.”

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