Hardwick rapt to land free agent Tarrant

Sacked Carlton coach David Teague has joined Richmond as an assistant for the 2022 AFL season.
Sacked Carlton coach David Teague has joined Richmond as an assistant for the 2022 AFL season.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has hailed the recruiting of AFL free agent Robbie Tarrant, saying the North Melbourne veteran will revitalise their defence.

The Tigers have been busy, also recruiting sacked Carlton coach David Teague as an assistant.

Tarrant, 32, has played 174 games for the Kangaroos and rejected an offer to stay at North.

"With Dave (Astbury) retiring, we felt we had a need for a bigger-body type defender," Hardwick told AFL360.

"That will allow Dylan Grimes and Noah Balta to be a little bit freer down there.

"I'm really excited by bringing in Robbie, it will allow us to explore the avenue of others as well.

"Our forwards are pretty keen to get Robbie out of the North Melbourne scene as well - he's done a helluva job."

Hardwick also feels Teague will be better for his time as a senior coach at Carlton, noting he had success as a backs coach at West Coast and a forwards coach at Adelaide before taking on the Blues role.

Teague was axed by the Blues last month after an external review of their underperforming football department.

The 40-year-old had a 42 per cent winning record in two-and-a-half years as senior coach, having taken over in 2019 when Brendon Bolton departed.

Richmond will be Teague's fifth stop as an assistant coach at AFL level after he worked in similar roles with West Coast, St Kilda, Adelaide and Carlton.

"We obviously like David - he has a great knowledge," Hardwick said.

"Sometimes what happens is you can have a go at senior coaching and you can come back and learn a lot.

"I have no doubt David has, we've had some great conversations.

"It's a big win for us ... he's going to be a real breath of fresh air for us"

Hardwick said Teague would work with their forwards.

Teague is excited about a fresh start with the Tigers, who are looking to rebound after missing the finals in 2021.

"Coaching is my passion and I am excited by the opportunity to get to work with a new group of players and at a new club," Teague said.

"I am looking forward to getting to work this pre-season and embracing the challenge that we all have, to climb the Tigers back up the ladder in 2022."

Hardwick said Callum Coleman Jones, who has requested a trade to North, is a required player at Punt Rd.

Australian Associated Press