Tiger cub up for big AFL job on star Hawk

Richmond AFL premiership star Jack Riewoldt has backed young teammate Jack Graham to help negate the influence of Hawthorn prime mover Tom Mitchell.

Richmond's Jack Graham (pic) is being backed to reduce Hawthorn AFL star Tom Mitchell's influence.

Richmond's Jack Graham (pic) is being backed to reduce Hawthorn AFL star Tom Mitchell's influence.

The Tigers face the unbeaten Hawks on Sunday at the MCG and must form an effective strategy to combat the in-form midfielder.

Mitchell has appeared near-unstoppable with 54 possessions in round one against Collingwood and 40 disposals and two goals on Easter Monday against Geelong.

Richmond are coming off a disappointing loss in the grand-final rematch against Adelaide, but Riewoldt believes Graham is up to the daunting task.

"We might put someone on (Mitchell) in different aspects of the game ... we've had a young kid that's played pretty good footy on the big stage against (star) opponents," Riewoldt told Fox Footy.

"Graham played well in the grand final on Rory Sloane, but it's going to be a great challenge for us of a pretty poor performance.

"If he's the one to go with him, then I think he can (curb him).

"He's got a phenomenal work ethic, but I think it's going to take more than one player to stop Tom Mitchell and the performances he's putting in at the moment."

The Tigers have their own one-man wrecking crew in Dustin Martin, but Riewoldt poured cold water on the suggestion the Brownlow Medal winner would go head to head in a tantalising all-star match-up with Mitchell.

"I don't think we'll see that," he said.

"I think clubs are trying to curtail the best players.

"I don't think you can let those guys run around (free) because, if you do, they end up with 50 touches and impacting on a level where you can't catch up."

Richmond are 12th with a 1-1 record after the 36-point defeat to the Crows that Riewoldt labelled an "off performance".

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