'What are you talking about': Rival hits back over Eddie McGuire rant

Damien Hardwick has done his best to hose down simmering tensions between his Richmond side and rivals Collingwood.

The Tigers coach says he was surprised to learn of fiery comments from Magpies president Eddie McGuire, relating to potential interest in Collingwood defender Darcy Moore.

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McGuire fired up at suggestions Richmond will throw a juicy contract offer at the Magpies defender, following the shock retirement of Alex Rance.

Channel Seven reported that Moore is Richmond's main target to fill that void and will make the 24-year-old a giant deal for what would be a controversial switch.

Reports have linked Richmond with an approach for Magpies defender Darcy Moore. Pic: Getty

The suggestions prompted McGuire to respond with a reminder of the bitter trade war between the fierce rivals during the 1980s, that almost bankrupted both clubs.

"The last time they started poaching from Collingwood, we put them in the bin for 30 years," he said on Triple M on Tuesday.

"Wait if it ever comes true. The blood will be flowing down Punt Road and Hoddle St again.

"When his father (Peter Moore) went to Melbourne (in 1982), that went down a treat.

"'Darce' going to Richmond - that'd be just really good, wouldn't it?"

On Wednesday, the Richmond coach hit back by insisting that the Moore reports had no substance.

Damien Hardwick has brushed off concerns expressed by Eddie McGuire. Pic: Getty

Hardwick will team up with Moore as part of the Victoria team to take on the All-Stars in next week's AFL bushfire relief match.

But the dual premiership coach said that was as far as the relationship would go for now.

"It popped up by surprise," Hardwick told SEN on Wednesday.

"I got a text on my family WhatsApp about what's going on with Darcy Moore and I said, 'What are you talking about?'

"This time of year, things get thrown around and clubs get linked and it's a little bit of a slow news week, so nothing in that one at this stage."

Tigers coach gives up on Rance comeback

Hardwick did concede that while he'd held out hope of Rance returning, he's resigned himself to the fact it won't happen.

Rance announced his shock decision to retire in December after completing his rehabilitation from a knee injury that ruined his 2019 season.

The injury kept him out of the Tigers' premiership side and his pending return had been viewed as a huge bonus in the flag defence.

Richmond football boss Neil Balme said last month he remained hopeful Rance would make a comeback this season.

But Hardwick said he had now completely ruled out in his mind the prospect of the five-time All-Australian defender returning.

Defender Alex Rance leaves some big shoes to fill at Richmond. Pic: Getty

"He's got a greater purpose in life at the moment with his family and faith," Hardwick said.

"I don't sit there and say I understand the decision, but I support the man.

"He's been a terrific servant for us, he'll always be a Richmond man and he is always welcome at our footy club.

"But we've got 41 or 42 players that can help us right here, right now, so there's no point looking in the rear vision mirror.

"We've got to continue to look forward and continue to develop our next premiership side which is hopefully not too far away."

Hardick listed Noah Balta and Ryan Garthwaite as defenders capable of stepping up to fill the void.

With AAP