New Blues looking ready to enter the fray

CARLTON will have three new players in its line-up for tonight's traditional season-opener against Richmond at the MCG.

Coach Mick Malthouse confirmed former Giant Kristian Jaksch would be a definite starter, while ex-Bulldog Liam Jones (pictured) makes the team after showing out strongly during the NAB Challenge.

Clem Smith, pick 64 in last year's draft, has also been handed his AFL debut.

Another ex-Dog, Jason Tutt is an emergency.

Malthouse said he had been excited by what Jaksch had shown in his time at the club, after originally being uncertain if was among the best 22 at the Blues.

"I want to see how he goes against some of the tall forwards and I want to see how he goes perhaps against some of the key backs, because I know he can play forward and he's done a pretty good job back (in the NAB Challenge)," he said.

"So I feel pretty confident that we've got a player of the future."

Malthouse confirmed vice-captain Bryce Gibbs, Chris Yarran and ruckman Robbie Warnock were all available for the clash after missing the last practice game against Geelong.

Richmond has close to a full list to pick from with captain Trent Cotchin and star midfielder Brett Deledio expected to play after being carefully managed during the pre-season.

Deledio (Achilles) sat out training yesterday but has been named, while coach Damien Hardwick said Cotchin (hamstring) was in no doubt. Kamdyn McIntosh and former Geelong midfielder Taylor Hunt will make their Tiger debuts.


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