AAP AFL

Port Adelaide’s true test awaits: coach

By AAP Newswire

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley expects to discover on Saturday if his AFL ladder leaders are genuine premiership contenders.

The Power meet reigning premier Richmond at Adelaide Oval with Hinkley in no doubt about the significance of the clash.

"They (Richmond) are the champs, let's be honest," Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

"They are the team everyone is trying to beat.

"We know nothing short of our absolute best is going to get the job done.

"We have got to be right up for this game and I think we're ready to have a crack at it."

The Tigers have rested captain Trent Cotchin as part of a plan to ensure he doesn't re-injure a hamstring which sidelined him a fortnight ago.

Josh Caddy will return from a hamstring injury, with Daniel Rioli also recalled, while Jack Higgins has been dropped.

Hinkley remained wary, saying the fixture would reveal whether Port's daring style could hold up against the best in the business.

"We are going to play our game, we are going to challenge them as best we possibly can," he said.

"We need to find out against the best team in the competition over the last three years - and this is a great test.

"That is the challenge of any team when you're trying to become a good team, you have to be able to stick to what you do.

"The teams that have been at the top along with Richmond - West Coast and Geelong, those types of teams - they just play their style.

"We're not ignorant to the opposition though, we have to understand what they bring, but our challenge is to play our game."

The Power have won eight of 10 games this season, with their defence conceding the least scores against of any club.

But Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was also concerned at quelling Port's fast-paced style in the twilight encounter.

"They have been terrific, they're one of the form teams of the competition and they play a dynamic, exciting brand of footy," Hardwick told reporters on Friday.

"We know they like to use their speed and get the ball into Charlie (Dixon) as much as they can.

"It's going to be a challenge for us on their home deck ... we're going up against a really good opposition and we're looking forward to the opportunity that presents itself on a big stage."

Hinkley will deploy two ruckmen against the Tigers, with Scott Lycett returning from a knee injury to partner the emerging Peter Ladhams.

Defender Jarrod Lienert will replace suspended backman Sam Mayes, with utility Justin Westhoff dropped.