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‘A difficult time for everyone’: Hardwick breaks silence on relationship

“Myself and Danielle’s number one priority will, as it always has been, [be] our three beautiful kids. I’m very proud of the kids, the job myself and Danielle have done with regard to raising them.

“It’s been a difficult time for everyone. Out of respect for Danielle and my kids, my private life is something that I’m not very comfortable speaking about.”

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Hardwick accepted that some Richmond players have strong relationships with Danielle and that there was a need to talk about the issue as a group before everyone could move on.

“The reality was the first day back I had to speak to the players about it. That’s something we do at the club. It was important we did so to get on with the business of preparing for round one. We always speak about things that [are] distractions in our lives, and distraction that may bring about out demise as a great team.

“We’re now fully focused on preparing for round one. The players are understanding of my situation and where we’re at.

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“There’s a lot of staff and players that are incredibly close to Danielle and my family. The fact of the matter is, my entire family has been a massive part and will continue to be a massive part of the Richmond Football Club.

“This isn’t about taking sides, it’s just about making sure what’s best for everyone.”

But when repeatedly pushed for details, Hardwick politely looked to steer the conversation back towards on-field matters.

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