Kane Cornes doubles down on Dustin Martin retirement claim, Richmond Tigers, AFL news

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Kane Cornes isn’t backing down from his claims surrounding Richmond superstar Dustin Martin.

The former Port Adelaide player turned media personality ruffled feathers when he suggested the three-time premiership player should hang up the boots.

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Cornes called for Martin to walk away from the game at the end of the 2024 season and go out on top without any questions over his place in the AFL.

“I just think it’s time in terms of there’s nothing left for him to achieve,” Cornes said on SEN Sportsday.

“Does Dustin Martin want to go through that and then have questions over his form like he will get like Buddy Franklin had when he played probably one more year (than he maybe should have)? Just like Scott Pendlebury is facing now to a lesser extent.”

Cornes was challenged on his stance on Footy Classified, but isn’t of softening his stance he doubled down.

“Is he prepared to dig in for another pre-season at the age of 33,” Cornes said.

“In a rebuilding group who is probably going to lose every third week, that’s the question you’ve got to ask.

“It’s poignant because it’s game 300, it would give him the greatest send off ever. He’s going to be a legend of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

“He’s done everything what more is there for him to turn up on a Monday. Is he motivated to do that … I don’t know.”

Martin missed Richmond’s opening game of the year against the Gold Coast Suns along with the round three clash against Sydney.

The Tigers currently sit 13th on the ladder having won only one game through four rounds with Martin playing in two of the three losses.

The perennially dangerous Martin has failed to make an impact on the two games in which he has featured in.

His disposals are sitting at an average of 16 per game, the lowest output so far in his 15-year AFL career.

With the club suffering injuries to key players Tom Lynch and Noah Balta, Martin looks set to return for their Gather Round clash against St Kilda.

Martin, Jack Graham and Dylan Grimes could all return on Sunday, but the Tigers’ match committee will need to grapple with how to replace their two talls in attack as a potential option was also struck down by injury.

The Tigers confirmed on Tuesday Lynch would miss 10 to 12 weeks following surgery on a hamstring tendon injury to his left leg.

The injuries to Lynch and Balta, who will miss four to six weeks, could have opened the door for Jacob Bauer to play his fifth game, but the 192cm swingman will be out for the same amount of time as Balta after scans confirmed a hamstring strain.