Richmond want to turn their Papua New Guinea recruit Gideon Simon into a tackling machine.

The Tigers announced on Friday they had picked up the 172cm 18-year-old as an international rookie.

He spent three months at Punt Road this year on an AFL scholarship and played in the reserves for Coburg in the VFL.

Richmond recruiting manager Matt Clarke said they wanted to develop Simon's tackling, noting he scored well in sprinting and agility at the AFL draft combine this week.

''He's little but he's powerful,'' Clarke told the AFL website.

Simon made a big impression in his time at the club, with Clarke saying the shy teenager fitted in well. ''Our players were disappointed when he had to go back home,'' Clarke said. ''The coach (Damien Hardwick) said, 'he does everything right as a person, he does everything right on the ground. Let's give him a chance'.''

Simon was among 10 international players who attended the draft combine.Each AFL club can recruit one Irish player and three other internationals as part of the league's campaign to bring more international talent into the game.

AAP