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Richard Woodgate: The South Fremantle stalwart who kick-started the incredible Rioli dynasty

The bloke who helped get the Rioli football dynasty started won’t be at Optus Stadium on Friday night to watch the latest chapter unfold when Maurice junior and Daniel Rioli play for Richmond against West Coast’s Willie.

Richard Woodgate is a Dockers fan. But he will be watching with interest as another piece of history is written for one of football’s most storied families with teenager Maurice junior picked to play his third AFL game for the team his father won a Norm Smith Medal representing in the 1982 VFL grand final.

Maurice Senior’s equally revered South Fremantle teammate Stephen Michael on Thursday labelled the gifted centreman, who had won Simpson Medals in the 1980 and 1981 WAFL grand finals, the second best player he ever played with or against behind only Claremont’s Graham Moss who won a Brownlow Medal playing for Essendon.

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