Soldo ban adds to Tigers' AFL ruck woes

Richmond will be lacking in the ruck after Ivan Soldo failed to get his suspension reduced.
Richmond will be lacking in the ruck after Ivan Soldo failed to get his suspension reduced.

Ivan Soldo's suspension leaves a big selection headache for Richmond ahead of their AFL blockbuster against Essendon.

The Tigers failed to reduce Soldo's one-game striking ban to a fine at Tuesday's tribunal hearing.

Soldo and Richmond football boss Neil Balme left the hearing without comment and the unhappy shake of Balme's head immediately after the tribunal verdict summed up their feelings.

The Tigers are already without premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis because of an adductor injury.

There is speculation Callum Coleman-Jones could make his AFL debut to fill the ruck role in Saturday night's annual Dreamtime At The 'G match.

Rookie Mabior Chol and Noah Balta are other potential options to go up against Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers.

Richmond famously used a left-field tactic for the ruck in their 2017 premiership campaign.

To give Nankervis a break, they would throw in 190cm utility Shaun Grigg to go up against opposition ruckmen and provide a contest.

It worked superbly and Richmond feted Grigg last week when he retired because of persistent injuries.

The Tigers tried to reduce Soldo's penalty from a ban to a fine, arguing his forearm jolt on Hawthorn midfielder James Worpel should have been classed as careless rather than intentional conduct.

The three-man jury took 14 minutes to decide the original intentional grading should remain.

Soldo testified he put up his forearm to protect himself as he collided with Worpel.

Nankervis' ongoing absence is part of a plague of injuries this season to key Richmond players.

Captain Trent Cotchin, defender Alex Rrance and forward Jack Riewoldt are also sidelined.

Australian Associated Press