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Foley returns, but Cotchin's AFL run ends
Guy Hand and Roger Vaughan
21:15 AEST Thu May 9 2013

Nathan Foley hasn't taken a trick and Trent Cotchin hasn't skipped a beat.

But that has all changed for Richmond's must-win AFL match against Port Adelaide on Saturday at AAMI Stadium.

Foley will play his first senior game since round 10 last season and Cotchin will miss his first senior match since round 20, 2010.

Cotchin's knee injury, ending his 52-game streak, is a major blow for the Tigers as they try to turn around a run of three losses.

They have also lost Ricky Petterd (calf), Tyron Vickery (concussion) and Dylan Grimes (foot) among five changes.

The big inclusion is Foley, who has played just one full season since 2008 because of injuries.

Foley has been out of action since last season with an achilles tendon problem.

But three pain-free runs in the reserves - his last match particularly impressing coach Damien Hardwick - have won him a well-earned recall to the seniors.

Hardwick says Foley's toughness and speed around the contest was something the Tigers had missed - and his value to the team had not diminished because of his absences.

"He had another 25 or 26 touches in the VFL at the weekend, and he's been sorely missed. He's a really important player for us," Hardwick said of the 27-year-old.

"He'll be a big boost for us - he's played three games now and he's trained incredibly hard over a long period of time.

"He's probably felt he's been ready to play a lot earlier than he has.

"I asked him last week whether he was ready to play and he said he'd prefer to get one more game in. He's ready to go this week."