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Rioli pair primed for big seasons as Richmond players visit the Top End

Jackson Clark -

It has been a welcome homecoming for Tiwi AFL stars Daniel and Maurice Rioli who were apart of Richmond's Community Camp to the Tiwi Islands over the past week.

A handful of Tigers players and staff have visited the Top End, undertaking training sessions and skills clinics on the Tiwi Islands and in Darwin.

Richmond midfielder Jacob Hopper said that visiting the Islands was a 'powerful' experience.

"The way we get welcomed into the community has been really powerful and I know the boys are taking so much from it," Hopper told SEN Top End.

"It's been just a great opportunity to come and immerse ourselves in the community.

"It has been unbelievable – it's hot and humid but it's been great."

Among those on the trip were star midfielder Shai Bolton, Marlion Pickett and local stars Daniel Rioli and Maurice Rioli.

Daniel Rioli has returned to the Tiwi Islands as part of Richmond's Community Camp. (Image: Richmond FC)

Daniel Rioli is coming off an excellent previous two seasons in the yellow and black with back-to-back top-five finishes in the club's best-and-fairest, the Jack Dyer Medal.

He recorded career-high totals for the 2023 season in disposals (476), contested possessions (130), clearances (18) and defensive-half pressure acts (259).

The dashing defender has played in all 46 available games for the Tigers over the past two seasons and has played 160 games in total since debuting in 2016.

Maurice Rioli featured in ten games last season with his best performance an 11-disposal, two-goal effort in the Tigers' opening-round draw against Carlton.

Hopper said that it was special to see the Rioli pair's connection to the Tiwi Islands.

"To come here to their hometown to see how much they love their community and how much their community loves them has been something really special to see and to be a part of slightly," he said.

"It's great to get that perspective of how much footy means to the community and how much the community loves watching them play.

"I know every time they run out there they're representing their community and that comes through in the way they play and how hard they play."

Hopper also said the duo have both had great pre-seasons under new Tigers coach Adem Yze.

"They've got a lot of work in, they have been training really well, they've both had great pre-seasons and I am really looking forward to (watching them play)."

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