Tigers have Lynch pencilled in for Round 1
THE only person happier at Richmond than Tom Lynch on Monday was Jack Riewoldt watching from afar, champing at the bit to work in tandem with the boom Tigers' recruit.
Lynch opened his account at Punt Rd with the first-to-fourth-year Tigers, but the ex-Gold Coast Suns captain will be limited to light duties until January following season-ending surgery on his knee in June.
Lynch played just 14 games last season before going under the knife to repair the posterior cruciate ligament injury.
His recovery is well underway, the Tigers upbeat the 199cm spearhead, who booted 254 goals across eight unfulfilled seasons at the Suns, will lace up the boots in Richmond's season opener against Carlton.
Richmond assistant coach Andrew McQualter said Lynch, a former teammate at the Suns, is "absolutely" on track and thrilled to get back to work.
"I'll be putting his name on the whiteboard playing Round 1, that's for sure," McQualter said.
"He had a pretty big smile for most of today, he's rapt to be back in Melbourne.
"As soon as he committed to Richmond all he wanted to do was start training and get into it, no doubt there's a relief we got back to work today … and he's able to get stuck into it.
"We're not in a rush with him at all, we've got a pretty long-term view with him, so he'll just build himself up over the next month or so with the plan to be up and going after Christmas."
Riewoldt and Lynch will eventually lead the Tigers' attack but McQualter warned the combination, along with the other forwards, will take time to gel.
Richmond was patient with former Suns Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia, who also landed at Punt Rd after interrupted campaigns on the Glitter Strip, and then reaped the rewards in its breakthrough 2017 premiership campaign.
"It will be a work in progress … it takes a while," McQualter said.
"We don't expect them to be completely on the same page from day one but … we're excited to see what they both bring and the rest of the forwards, we're not a two-man forward line hopefully."
McQualter will lean on Riewoldt a lot this year, also, having picked up the forwards' group after coaching the midfield the past two seasons.
"The best part about Jack the last few years is how unselfish Jack has become, he gets an incredible amount of joy seeing other people do well," McQualter said.
"He'll be excited to help others around him and Lynchy in particular."