Hawk Wingard excited about 200th AFL game

After illness ruined his first attempt, Chad Wingard will finally run out for his 200th AFL game when Hawthorn battle Richmond at the MCG.

CHAD WINGARD of the Hawks.
CHAD WINGARD of the Hawks. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

It will be second time lucky for Chad Wingard as the Hawthorn ace gets another shot at playing his 200th AFL game.

After illness ruled the two-time All-Australian out of last week's clash with Essendon, Wingard will slot straight back into the Hawks' line-up to face Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

Debuting at Port Adelaide in 2012, Wingard almost instantly became one of the league's most exciting players.

He made the switch to the Hawks ahead of the 2019 season and became a fan favourite.

A proud Indigenous man, Wingard has always tried to find a purpose outside of football and that has only grown throughout his career.

"I think something that I've tried to pride myself on is making sure I always try and give back to community and I think that's a real driving force," Wingard said.

"I mean footy is almost the avenue for me to give back and to do something that I'm so passionate about.

"When I was at Port Adelaide, I loved getting back to the communities APY Lands, but also here at Hawthorn, going to Tassie, and Katherine, I can't wait to get up there.

"I think my purpose in life is to play AFL footy, but above and beyond that, I think it's to give back in the Indigenous space and that's what I'm really passionate about."

The Hawks will be desperate to atone for their disappointing loss against the Bombers after letting slip a 25-point lead during the third quarter.

Richmond and Hawthorn will both unleash exciting young players on Saturday.

The Tigers pulled a surprise by naming Bigoa Nyuon for his debut, deciding against slotting veteran recruit Robbie Tarrant back into defence.

Teenage midfielder Sam Butler has been picked for the Hawks, with prolific on-baller Tom Mitchell to miss after struggling with illness last week.

In a boost for the Hawks, in-form key forward Mitchell Lewis returns after missing three games with a hamstring injury as he looks to build on a career-best season.