Knights sent packing

Friday, June 28

RICHMOND has dumped its former skipper Matthew Knights for tomorrow's clash against Geelong, and All-Australian backman Darren Gaspar has been ruled out with a calf injury.

On a four-game losing streak, the Tigers have their backs to the wall but Geelong coach Mark Thompson said his side was used to facing a team under pressure.

``We've done it the last two games we've played,'' he said.

``Carlton first and then also Sydney, who had lost a few in a row, so this is something we're used to.

``We've played some good footy over the last month and if we can concentrate and restart after the bye then we don't have to worry about Richmond at all.''

The Tigers will also be without ruckman Greg Stafford, who was suspended this week, and dropped former Geelong forward Adam Houlihan.

Thompson said the games played by Richmond coach Danny Frawley midweek over the fitness of some of his star players hadn't distracted him from his preparation.

``We watched them train so we knew (Matthew) Richardson was running at Punt Road (Oval), we knew (Darren) Gaspar went off and we weren't too sure why Kellaway wasn't training but it's worked out he had an exam,'' Thompson said at training last night.

Geelong vice-captain Brenton Sanderson returns to the side from a calf injury and James Rahilly has been recalled after a string of impressive VFL performances.

Veteran defender Brad Sholl was ruled out with a back injury and ruckman Peter Street omitted.

Thompson said he expected two of his young guns James Bartel and Gary Ablett to push for senior selection in the next couple of weeks as well as defender Daniel Foster.

``In the next couple of weeks we really want to get Bartel and Ablett back into the side and Daniel Foster and I suspect in the next three weeks that they'll be playing,'' he said.