AFL 2018: The time is now

WITH the 2018 AFL season looming large, Richmond will play the opener without two grand final stars.

In fact, the Tigers say they remain the hunters rather than hunted as they look to open their AFL premiership defence with a win over Carlton on Thursday night at the MCG.

"Defensively, we're very strong, we hunt the opposition, we stalk the opposition and we hunt and that's the way we play," Hardwick said on Wednesday.

"Other clubs will come at us but the reality is we control how we want to be seen."

Carlton will unveil four debutants for Thursday night’s season opening blockbuster against Richmond.