Bris­bane Lions

Inside Sport - - Team Previews -

The up­side of be­ing as bad as Bris­bane has been in re­cent years: it’s hard to miss re­peat­edly when you’re pick­ing at the top of the draft so of­ten, and the pride is steadily be­ing re­stocked. Eric Hip­wood (right), Hugh McClug­gage, Alex Wither­den and Jar­rod Berry have come through, and add to that this year’s no.1 over­all pick, big for­ward-go­ing mid­fielder Cameron Rayner.

Coach Chris Fa­gan earned plau­dits for his first year at the Lions, bring­ing the right kind of tem­per­a­ment to the task of de­vel­op­ing a young out­fit. He landed some high-pro­file help in the off­sea­son when he lured his old Hawthorn col­league Luke Hodge up north. It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing ca­reer epi­logue for the dual Norm Smith win­ner, and how­ever it might turn out, the Lions will stand to ben­e­fit from Hodge’s pres­ence. He wasn’t named in the lead­er­ship group, but it was al­most be­side the point. “He still sits in on all our lead­er­ship meet­ings,” in­cum­bent cap­tain Dayne Beams told the club’s web­site.

For­mer Crow Char­lie Cameron, who wanted to re­turn home to Queens­land, will make for an­other use­ful ad­di­tion. Where the Lions can re­ally stand to im­prove is de­fen­sively, where they were last in the league again in 2017.

Im­prob­a­ble sce­nario: The Lions’ young play­ers start talk­ing about their mem­o­ries of the tre­ble.

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