Nick Vlastuin was still a toddler when his mother nicknamed him Tigger.

Cecily Vlastuin was not being an incredible AFL prophet, but rather comparing his energy to the bouncing, boisterous Winnie the Pooh character.

After an impressive debut season with Richmond that earnt him a Rising Star nomination, "Tigger" Vlastuin will play for the Tigers this Sunday in their historic elimination final against Carlton.

It is Richmond's first finals appearance since 2001.

More than one teammate has noted that while Richmond veteran Chris Newman has had to wait more than a decade for his first taste of September, the 19-year-old only had to play for 23 weeks.

"Everyone has been saying how lucky I am, how fortunate," Vlastuin said on Wednesday.

"I followed Collingwood growing up, so there were plenty of finals with them.

"But then `Newy' has waited 13 years, I think ... I couldn't imagine that.

Vlastuin is enjoying the buildup to his first final, but admits the growing excitement among the Tigers faithful has caught him off-guard.

"It's a lot more full-on and a lot more fans than I thought there would be," he said.

"It's just been awesome."

Vlastuin added that this time, Carlton will not take them by surprise.

The Blues beat them by 10 points in round 21, Richmond's most recent loss.

"We made a good start and they fought back," he said.

"We're definitely not going to underestimate them again."

Vlastuin said they were also better prepared for this next instalment of Richmond's fierce rivalry with the Blues.

"A couple of weeks leading up to that game we were training pretty hard," he said.

"All the boys were pretty sore.

"The last couple of weeks, we've backed that off a bit because of finals.

"Getting the body right and little tweaks in the game plan, stuff like that - hopefully we'll be flying."


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