Why Richmond Tigers need a tall forward option like Mason Cox to help out key forward Jack Riewoldt

Through a couple of handy recruits in Dion Prestia, Toby Nankervis and Josh Caddy, as well as the emergence of young talents in Jayden Short, Dan Butler, Shai Bolton and Jason Castagna, Richmond has excelled in 2017.

However, there is one key area the Tigers need to fill if they are going to be a successful club for not only this year, but also the years to come.

It is clear Richmond have a number of excellent small forwards that will be around for quite some time, with Castangna, Bolton, Daniel Rioli, Butler, Sam Lloyd, Ben Lennon and Tyson Stengle all looking quite impressive.

However, the Tigers lack a secondary tall option to help star key forward Jack Riewoldt, with Ben Griffiths being injured once again and Todd Elton clearly not being the answer.

In addition, injuries to Shaun Hampson and the game looking as if it has passed by veteran Ivan Maric, the Tigers have only had Nankervis to call upon as their ruckman. Although, the young Ivan Soldo has looked impressive in his debut season, however he has only managed two games.

It is clear Richmond need another tall target with Josh Schache, Jack Gunston, Kurt Tippett and Levi Casbolt’s names all being thrown into the equation as possible recruits this year.

However, there is another man who should be on Damien Hardwick’s radar and that’s Collingwood rookie listed tall, Mason Cox.

Cox is currently in his third season on the Magpies rookie list, with him needing to be elevated to the senior list at season’s end in order for him to remain a Pie.

With Collingwood unlikely to make finals this year, it has resulted in immense pressure on the shoulders of coach Nathan Buckley, which could cause a mass amount of exists to come at season’s end.

After a breakthrough year in 2016, where the then 25-year-old kicked 17 goals from 11 games and kept dual All-Australian winner Travis Cloke out of the side, he has only managed five underwhelming matches this year.

However, after a three-goal haul against Hawthorn over the weekend, he has reminded us that he can play at the highest level.

Cox (211cm tall) is best suited up forward, although he can shift into the ruck as well, potentially helping both Riewoldt and Nankervis.

If Collingwood are to move Cox on at season’s end or even if they are not, Richmond should make a serious pay for him heading into 2018 as he can slot into their side immediately.

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Originally published at www.foxsports.com.au on July 5, 2017.

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