Cousins will start against 'Pies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins will start against 'Pies

By Roger Vaughan 24/02/2009 04:53:37 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins will start on the field in Thursday night's highly-anticipated AFL pre-season match against Collingwood as the attention switches from off-field "razzamatazz".

Richmond coach Terry Wallace said Cousins will play more than half the round-two NAB Cup match at the Telstra Dome.

Cousins last played any form of AFL for West Coast in the 2007 finals before the league suspended him for bringing the game into disrepute.

The self-confessed drug addict has endured plenty of drama since then, but has had a solid pre-season with the Tigers.

"Others have been ahead of what he's done at this stage, so what you're looking for is him getting through safe and sound and that he gets a kick and starts to gain a bit of confidence," Wallace said.

"There's probably been enough razzamatazz - get out there and just play would probably be the best idea.

"I'd suggest we'd be more likely to just throw him out there and get on with playing.

"He'll play a reasonable amount of game time ... certainly I see 60-plus per cent."

When asked about Richmond's expectations of Cousins in his comeback match, Wallace said they would not be as great as the Brownlow Medallist's demands on himself.

Apart from the obvious attention Cousins will attract, another issue for Richmond on Thursday night will be managing the workload of their senior players.

Wallace admitted it is particularly important to keep star utility Matthew Richardson on a tight leash.

Richardson worked like a 20-year-old in the round-one win over Fremantle - the only problem is, he is nearly 34.

"You're never going to stop him, whether it's on the training track or game day, from what he does naturally," Wallace said.

"The answer to that ... is you've got to restrict his game time through that pre-season period.

"Last week, we had 1,000 games worth of players out of our side, we won't be selecting our very, very best side for this week.

"We'd have probably 700 games still out this week in rotation."

Wallace added they would probably rest Richardson at some point during the pre-season.

It could happen against the Magpies, with former captain Kane Johnson and Jordan McMahon likely to come into the side.

Richmond trained on Tuesday morning and the two clubs will announce their 29-man squads on Wednesday.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news