Richmond captain Trent Cotchin free to play in grand final

Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin with Dustin Martin and coach Damien Hardwick. Photo: AAP
Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin with Dustin Martin and coach Damien Hardwick. Photo: AAP

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin is free to play in the Tigers' first grand final appearance in 35 years, after he was cleared by the AFL match review panel over a bump on the Giants' Dylan Shiel.

Cotchin had come under scrutiny over the first-quarter incident, with the footy world divided over whether Cotchin should be sanctioned. 

Shiel was ruled out of the rest of the preliminary final after failing a concussion test at quarter-time.

"I was going for the footy so I didn't even know he'd gone off from that incident," Cotchin told Fairfax Media on Saturday night.

Asked whether he had any concerns about the MRP's assessment, Cotchin replied: "It's not in my hands, it's out of my control. I'll just prepare as I always would prepare for a match".

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said on Saturday night that he expected Cotchin would be cleared.

"I think so. At the end of the day, [he is a] ball player. I haven't seen it to be honest. Other people make their assessments and go from there," he said, adding Cotchin would have a "tough" wait before Monday's findings.

Giants coach Leon Cameron said after the preliminary final that he had expected Cotchin to be free to take on the Crows. "Both were going for the footy. He's a ball player Cotchin, he's had a terrific year, I wouldn't think there would be anything in it," he said.

A still of the clash between Richmond captain Trent Cotchin and GWS midfielder Dylan Shiel.

A still of the clash between Richmond captain Trent Cotchin and GWS midfielder Dylan Shiel.

Cotchin had two previous sanctions from the MRP this year.

He was booked and fined for jumper punching Fremantle's Lachie Neale in round eight.

Then came the incident in the first quarter of the match against St Kilda in round 16, who mauled the Tigers by 67 points.

Cotchin gave away a free kick for a deliberate out of bounds and then gut-punched Jack Lonie.That cost him a 50m penalty and later a $1500 fine for striking.

Cotchin wasn't the only Tiger poised to be looked at by the match review panel on Monday, with rebounding defender Brandon Ellis to attract scrutiny for an incident involving Giant Lachie Whitfield.