AFL: Orren to train with Richmond

FORMER Geelong and North Ballarat big man Orren Stephenson might have a lifeline to play AFL in 2013.

The 30-year-old, who was delisted by Geelong last month after just one season, has been invited by Richmond to join pre-season training at Tigerland.

He is one of three players cut this year by other clubs who the Tigers have sought permission from the AFL to join training. 

He will be joined by former Collingwood and Brisbane Lions ruckman Cameron Wood, and ex-Gold Coast player Josh Toy. 

Stephenson played eight matches for the Cats this year.

Geelong provided the shock of last year’s national draft by selecting the Roosters triple premiership player (2008-2010).

Richmond delisted project ruckman Andrew Browne, while trading former number one ruckman Angus Graham to the Adelaide Crows for an exchange in draft picks.

 That has left the Tigers short of ruck options to back up Ivan Maric, with Tom Derickx unproven and Tyrone Vickery preferred as a tall forward. 

Stephenson will likely go head-to-head with Wood for the vacancy.

Wood, a 25-year-old, 204 centimetres ruckman, has played a total of 64 AFL games: 16 with Brisbane from 2005-07, and 48 with Collingwood from 2008-12. 

Stephenson is shorter at 200 centimetres and lighter.

Toy, 20, spent two seasons with the Gold Coast Suns and played 13 games.

Meanwhile, former North Ballarat Rebels player Lucas Cook has been linked with West Coast Eagles.

 Cook was delisted by Melbourne last month.

He was originally drafted to the Demons at number 12 in the 2010 national draft.

The AFL national draft is next Thursday.

gavin.mcgrath@thecourier.com.au

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