AFL Tigers close in on Hopper, Taranto

·2-min read

Richmond veteran Jack Riewoldt is over the moon that GWS stars Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto want to join the Tigers, but he's not getting carried away just yet.

The Tigers' on-the-run rebuild received a huge double boost with news that Hopper had nominated Richmond as his AFL club of choice, and that Taranto was set to follow suit.

Hopper, who still has one more year on his contract remaining, was also being chased by Geelong.

Taranto, who is out of contract, is expected to accept a seven-year deal at Richmond worth about $750,000 per season.

Richmond missed the finals last year and crashed out at the first hurdle this season.

But the addition of Hopper and Taranto to Richmond's midfield is set to keep the club in premiership contention.

However, Riewoldt knows Hopper and Taranto are by no means a done deal.

"It's very exciting, but we can't get too carried away, because there's still a lot of water to go under the bridge," Riewoldt said on AFL 360.

"The fact of the matter is they're both very good players. We're going to have to give up a fair bit to get them, and it will be interesting to see whether the deals are done separately or if they're done as a conglomerate.

"It just shows there's talent out there in the AFL that believe we're in a pretty good window, and we believe it too.

"The last five games we lost by under a goal, so we feel like we can be a challenger again next year."

Riewoldt cheekily joked that he also wants star GWS midfielder Josh Kelly to join the Tigers.

"Funnily enough Josh Kelly's parents live three or four doors down from my house," he said.

"I drove past Josh the other day and put the window down and asked if he wanted to come as well."

Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin signed new one-year deals earlier this week, while coach Damien Hardwick is confident star midfielder Dustin Martin will see out the final two years of his deal.

Hopper managed just seven games this season after undergoing multiple knee surgeries.

But he showed his class last year when he averaged 26.4 possessions and 6.3 clearances per game to only narrowly miss out on a spot in the All-Australian team.

Taranto, the No.2 pick from the 2016 national draft, averaged 25.4 possessions and 3.8 clearances per game this year.

The 24-year-old is not a free agent until 2024, meaning a deal will need to be struck with the Tigers.

The Giants reportedly want two first-round draft picks for Taranto.

The exit of both Hopper and Taranto will be devastating for the Giants, who are also set to lose small forward Bobby Hill and 20-year-old midfielder Tanner Bruhn.