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Ben Rutten, Essendon Bombers, sacked, Richmond Tigers, Damien Hardwick, assistant coach, Adam Kingsley, GWS Giants, fallout, Alastair Clarkson

Has sacked Bombers manager Ben Root lined up his next move?

The former Essendon councilor was spotted at Richmond headquarters on Friday, five days after ordering the march in Tullamarine.

The Tigers have an opening for an assistant coach, now that staff member Adam Kingsley is heading north as the new GWS head coach.

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7Sport reporter Natalie Ioannidis said: “Ben Root was on the punt today when he wanted to move on from the Bombers.”

“7NEWS understands it was an informal conversation with Damien Hardwick and other key Tigers footy staff.”

Root is a former Tigers assistant coach before joining the Bombers under John Worsfall at the club since 2016.

Under Hardwick, Rutten was the defensive coach when the Tigers won the 2017 pennant.

Hardwick was among Rutton’s last-ditch efforts to secure the services of Alastair Clarkson when the club left him hanging earlier this month.

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The Bombers ultimately failed in that bid as Clarkson proved their offer came too late before signing with North Melbourne.

Root then coached Essendon’s final match – round 23 against Richmond – before being sacked the following day.

“Ben Root is a great coach, we’ve got him in these four walls, we know what he’s capable of and how he does his job,” Hardwick said last week.

“I think it’s human nature, it’s a difficult situation, but that’s the situation we’re in.

“It’s tragic in nature, but we’re worried about the man and we hope that Ben himself will be OK.”

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Hardwick said the Tigers believe Ruth is a “great coach”, “a wonderful person” and “a great server”.

Many of the AFL’s top coaches have come out in support of Root and Essendon’s handling of the farewell.

Root’s departure from the club has sparked further movement, with at least four board members leaving this week, along with chief executive Xavier Campbell.

Despite coaching his final game for Essendon, Rutton will still have his 2023 contract paid out by the club.

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