Aaron Sandilands
Aaron Sandilands

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has questioned whether Fremantle's late inclusion of ruckman Aaron Sandilands was in the spirit of the game.

Fremantle had named Jon Griffin but he was withdrawn just before the Dockers took to the field for their final warm up, and was replaced by emergency Sandilands, who was warming up in a separate group.

Hardwick said he believed the team sheet would be final.

"Look, that's within the rules. Whether it's in the spirit of the game, I don't know; that's for you guys to find out," he said.

"He's a very, very good player," Hardwick added of Sandilands.

"You prepare one way and then all of a sudden, something happens and you've got to start preparing another way."

Sandilands was expected to play for WAFL team East Fremantle on Sunday in his long-awaited return from a toe injury and was not included on the team sheet submitted by the Dockers 90 minutes before bounce down.

Fremantle will be forced to formally answer to the AFL over the incident.

A letter of explanation along with Griffin's medical report outlining his injury will be required by the AFL to avoid a $5000 fine.

Sandilands gathered 18 disposals and 33 taps as he combined with Kepler Bradley to win the hitouts 45-19.

However, the Dockers failed to dominate the clearances and only won those 36-33.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon vehemently denied that the late change was an elaborate ruse.

"I'm on record here, this is bona fide and legitimate. And if anyone wants (to make) accusations outside of that they're well and truly out of line and want to be really careful," he said.

"Jon Griffin came in to our doctor after the warm-up, he'd tweaked his groin.

"They were in the warm-up, we clearly thought Aaron was underdone."


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