Jack Riewoldt is fit for Thursday's AFL opener.
Jack Riewoldt is fit for Thursday's AFL opener. JULIAN SMITH

Riewoldt raring to go for opener

AFL: Star Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt said he was "100% ready to go" for the Tigers round one clash with Carlton on Thursday to kick-off the AFL season.

Riewoldt rolled his ankle against Collingwood in the final JLT Series clash in Moe last week but said there was no real damage and he would be ready to face the Blues at the MCG.

"It's good as gold, I could've gone back on, it was more of a scare than an actual issue," Riewoldt said.

"It was the ankle that I had reconstructed over the break, but I'm fit and firing.

"It's probably more mental than anything ... I was a little bit worried there for a bit, but I'm 100% ready to go."

Defender Alex Rance also sent a scare through the Tigers' camp but said he would be ready to go after carefully managing hamstring soreness.

Rance played all of the game against Collingwood last week and said it had been good for his overall fitness ahead of the season opener.

"I was pretty cooked ... it was a pretty hot day and I probably needed the run because I'd only played half a game the week before," Rance said.

"(But) it was good to get a full game in and I'm better for the run."

Third-year forward Dan Butler is set for his AFL debut on Thursday, while recruits Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Toby Nankervis will all likely play their first games for the club.

Coach Damien Hardwick will have nearly his entire squad to select from.

"We're in a really lucky position really ... we've got Shaun Hampson and Steve Morris as probably our only two unavailable players," the Tigers mentor said.

"There are going to be some selection headaches for us, which is the way you want to be."

Hampson has a back problem and is sidelined for the foreseeable future, while Morris is working his way back from a knee reconstruction.

Carlton is also likely to have an almost full roster to choose from, with ruckman Andrew Phillips (foot) the only regular senior player unavailable.

News Corp Australia

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