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Mark Hutchings says he would love to square off against Dustin Martin on Sunday

Mark Hutchings says he would love to square off against Dustin Martin on Sunday

West Coast Eagles run-with expert Mark Hutchings says he would love an opportunity to test himself against reigning Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Hutchings is among the club’s front runners to tag Martin after restricting damaging Greater Western Sydney midfielder to just 22 disposals – four disposals less than his 2018 season average – at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.

The gritty 26-year-old said he was yet to be assigned the task of taming Martin but would happily assume the challenge if senior coach Adam Simpson came calling.

“I’m quite happy for him to tell me what to do,” Hutchings told The West Australian.

“He’s the head coach, so he calls the shots. If he wants me to do that, bring it on.

“He’s a good player, but with successful teams these days, it’s not just one player that wins games, you need a good even contribution from everyone. Whether it’s (a tag) something that we go to or not remains to be seen, but he’s certainly a player to watch and be mindful of because he is dangerous.

“In the past we have gone to it sometimes, but not consistently so it’s up to me if I’m called upon to do it, to do it well.”

Hutchings will no doubt look at how North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs went about tagging Martin should he get the nod to run with the Tigers’ star.

The feisty shinboner kept Damien Hardwick’s most dangerous man to just 16 disposals at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, but Hutchings noted that Richmond still got up and won the contest by 10 points.

“I didn’t see the game, but sort of reading some things, Jacobs did a good job on him. But Richmond still won the game,” Hutchings said.

"I’m probably told two or three days before a game. Physically it’s no different. Mentally, you might look at some tape, look at what has worked for them and what hasn’t because they are good players for a reason and usually their strengths are pretty elite.”

Hutchings said West Coast had to play as a team if they wanted to knock off Richmond.

“If we work for each other, work hard and stick to our plans then we might not win every game, but we’ll give ourselves the best chance,” he said.

“I am pretty excited for any game, but against Richmond, first versus second on the ladder, yeah, it’s exciting. We’re playing well, they’re playing well.

“You don’t see top-of-the-table clashes very often, so they are the games you want to play.”