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Retiring Swan "ticked every box" - but still a chance to tick one more


Sydney forward Xavier Richards says his older brother Ted will retire satisfied even if he doesn’t get to play in Saturday’s AFL grand final against the Western Bulldogs.

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Fullback Ted, 33, recently announced he would retire at the end of this season, his 15th in the AFL.

A key pillar of the Sydney backline for most of his 12 years at the club after joining from Essendon in late 2005, Ted hasn’t played a senior game since round 17.

There is a slight possibility he could get a game on Saturday as emerging key defender Aliir Aliir is battling to recover from a knee injury.

However, the fact the Bulldogs don’t have a lot of tall forwards would probably count against the older Richards.

Ironically, Xavier was elevated to the senior side the week Ted was dropped.

Ted was chaired off the ground at Swans training on Monday, to the delight of the cheering fans who attended the open session..

“I’m not sure what’s going through his head, but I think he described it as bittersweet last week,” Xavier said.

“He’s very happy for me but I’m sure he was wishing he was playing,

“But I don’t think Ted is going to walk away from his AFL career, thinking ‘I wish i had have done that’. He’s ticked every box.

“He’s played in three AFL grand finals, won one, (was named an) All Australian, (played) over 250 games.

“He’s been in the leadership group. I think Ted is very satisfied.”

Drafted as a key defender, Xavier was switched to the forward line in the Swans reserves in mid-season.

He kicked 26 goals in five games to earn promotion to the senior side and has kicked 13 majors across the Swans’ past nine matches.

Xavier, who is ten years younger than his sibling, has not had many opportunities to play alongside his brother since being selected in the 2013 rookie draft.

Xavier said they had played two or three reserves games together and briefly appeared on the same field in one senior match, when the younger Richards made his top-flight debut.

“I was the sub, I was only on the ground for about ten minutes, but it was a pretty good moment,” Xavier said.


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