Cotchin doing it 'tough' since AFL breach

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick understands Trent Cotchin has offered to pay a hefty fine after his wife breached the AFL's COVID-19 protocols.

The Tigers were issued a $20,000 fine after the captain's wife Brooke visited a day spa on the Gold Coast last week.

Hardwick admitted the Cotchins had been downcast since the AFL handed down the sanction on Friday, but said the couple had owned up to the mistake and will likely pay the fine themselves instead of the club.

"As Trent and Brooke do they admitted they were at fault. It's been tough on them," Hardwick told reporters.

"Everyone's up here trying to do the right thing but the reality is mistakes are going to be made.

"We've just got to understand that sometimes people are going to get things wrong, it's not through any fault of their own, they just made an innocent mistake."

Two-time premiership skipper Cotchin returned from three games out with a hamstring injury for the Tigers' last-start 41-point victory over the Western Bulldogs.

Cotchin is a definite starter for Tuesday night's clash with Brisbane but Hardwick conceded the Tigers will be cautious with the veteran midfielder during a heavy schedule of games.

After battling the Lions, Richmond will fly to take on ladder-leaders Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Hardwick said the 30-year-old Cotchin will be "less likely" to play against the Power and could be rested.

In a boost for the Tigers as they continue to build momentum in their premiership defence, Nick Vlastuin has recovered from a calf injury and the dependable defender will play against Brisbane

The Lions are second on the ladder as one of the AFL's in-form teams but they will have to overcome a 11-year hoodoo to improve their season record to 8-2.

Richmond have won their past 14 encounters with the Lions, dating back to 2009 and including last year's qualifying final at the Gabba.

It is the longest-active winning streak by one club over another in the AFL.

Hardwick wouldn't buy into Richmond having the Lions' measure despite having won all the game's he has coached against Brisbane.

"I love the way they're (Brisbane) playing, I love watching them, so it's going to be a great challenge for our boys," he said.