Moment Richmond trainer Damien Hardwick pranks TV presenters when they ask about Dustin Martin’s fitness

Amusing moment Richmond coach Damien Hardwick plays pranks on TV presenters as they try to pin him on whether superstar Dustin Martin will play the Lions in the all-or-nothing final

  • Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was hesitant about Dustin Martin playing
  • The 31-year-old Tigers midfielder is out after suffering the hamstring injury in early July
  • When Hardwick showed up at Fox Footy on Tuesday, he initially avoided the question
  • Martin is expected to play a big push for Richmond in the first week of the finals

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick showed his experience as a head coach when he was pressed for the availability of superstar Dustin Martin for the team’s elimination semifinals against Brisbane on Thursday.

The three-time Premier League-winning coach appeared on Fox Footy on Tuesday night and was asked by journalist Mark Robinson if “Dusty” will be playing at the Gabba.

Martin, 31, hasn’t laced his boots since he strained his Achilles tendon against West Coast on July 3.

In hilarious scenes, Hardwick pretended to answer the question on many people’s lips, but was mute, leaving co-hosts Gerard Whateley and Robinson utterly perplexed on Live Cross.

A cheeky Hardwick then revealed he turned his tone off on purpose.

Richmond manager Damien Hardwick was initially wary of Fox Footy as he pressed for superstar Dustin Martin's availability for Thursday's clash against Brisbane

Richmond manager Damien Hardwick was initially wary of Fox Footy as he pressed for superstar Dustin Martin’s availability for Thursday’s clash against Brisbane

Seeing the funny side of the gag, Robinson said, “You smartass!”

Hardwick finally addressed the issue when he said Martin would “play a different role” in the winner-takes-all fight.

“He will mostly play up front. We know he’s played that role before and he’s quite capable,” he said.

“Against Brisbane he had some really good games like this. What we do know is that players like Dustin put themselves where they need to be.

“I’ve said this many times as a coach, the best players have a great understanding of where to put their effort at the best of times.”

As Robinson pointed out, Martin is on the horizon in September.

Martin, 31, is out injured after suffering a hamstring injury against West Coast on July 3

Martin, 31, is out injured after suffering a hamstring injury against West Coast on July 3

Martin's three Norm Smith medals from three Grand Final triumphs are proof that there is no better big game player in the sport

Martin’s three Norm Smith medals from three Grand Final triumphs are proof that there is no better big game player in the sport

After winning with the Tigers flags in 2017, 2019 and 2020, he is finishing the season better than anyone else.

His three Norm Smith medals for best groundfighter from three major finals victories prove that there is no better big game player in the sport.

Meanwhile, despite the ongoing threat of Martin’s return, the Lions won’t be disheartened if he appears on the Tigers’ roster.

“It’s always great to have elite players back in the game,” said Lions forward Lincoln McCarthy.

“He’s had a long hiatus with a ‘Hammy’ so we’re just excited. Finals hopefully bring out the best teams and really good football to watch and he’s another player the fans love to see out there.

“We just hope he (Martin) isn’t having too good a night.”

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/afl/article-11162777/Moment-Richmond-coach-Damien-Hardwick-pranks-TV-hosts-ask-Dustin-Martins-fitness.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Moment Richmond trainer Damien Hardwick pranks TV presenters when they ask about Dustin Martin’s fitness

Maureen Mackey

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