Townsville will play host to a cracking contest on Sunday, after both the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS named strong squads for their NAB Challenge match.
The Lions have brought in 11 players to the side who missed last week’s loss to the Hawks, all of whom would be considered part of their best 22.
Nine of these players were key Brisbane players last year, in captain, Jed Adcock, his vice, Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden, Daniel Rich, Matthew Leuenberger, Pearce Hanley, Daniel Merrett, Joel Patfull and Brent Moloney.
Former Broadbeach player, Luke McGuane, is also set to play his first game in Lions colours, after joining the side in the 2013 free agency period.
McGuane has the ability to play forward or back and will be a handy inclusion for the Lions
Meanwhile, Gold Coast product, Claye Beams, will be one to watch as he plays his first AFL match in almost 12 months, after a knee reconstruction.
Beams, who has struggled with a foot injury in the past, has shown plenty of potential at NEAFL level and was tipped for a big season in 2013 before rupturing his ACL in a training session.
Both Jordon Bourke (Morningside) and Jono Freeman (Aspley) have retained their spots in the squad, after providing some rare positive moments in last week’s 131-point loss.
Bourke is the only rookie to be named in the side.
Down the highway, the SUNS have left Gary Ablett at home, but have named a formidable side for the clash.
Tom Lynch will captain the side in Ablett’s absence, while Townsville product Josh Hall will have a rare chance to play in front of his home crowd.
The SUNS have boosted their Queensland contingent ahead of the Townsville match, with Alex Sexton and Karmichael Hunt also included, playing for the first time this season.
Defender, and Mt Gravatt junior, Clay Cameron has retained his spot in the squad, after a promising showing in Monday’s one-point win over Essendon.
Cairns’ Charlie Dixon will be looking to improve on his first-up performance, which was uncharacteristically quiet.
Jackson Allen has been named in the 29-man squad and will be hoping to get a Guernsey, after being cut from the final team in the GC SUNS’ first NAB Challenge match.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 3:40pm, Queensland time, at Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville.
The full 29-man squads:
1. Luke McGuane, 2. Ryan Harwood, 3. Brent Moloney, 4. James Aish, 5. Jack Crisp, 6. Josh Green, 7. Jed Adcock, 8. Rohan Bewick, 10. Daniel Rich, 11. Pearce Hanley, 13. Trent West, 15. Dayne Zorko, 17. Claye Beams, 18. Nicholas Robertson, 19. Jordan Lisle, 21. Daniel Merrett, 22. Marco Paparone, 23. Matthew Leuenberger, 24. Joel Patfull, 26. Tom Cutler, 30. Jack Redden, 32. Sam Mayes, 33. Michael Close, 34. Jonathan Freeman, 35. Ryan Lester, 38. Tom Rockliff, 41. Mitchell Golby, 42. Justin Clarke, 45. Jordon Bourke (rookie)
3. Timmy Sumner, 4. Jack Martin, 5. Jarrod Harbrow, 6. Alex Sexton, 7. Karmichael Hunt, 8. Luke Russell, 11. Harley Bennell, 12. Sam Day, 14. Matthew Warnock, 15. Daniel Gorringe, 17. Steven May, 19. Tom Lynch (c), 20. Henry Schade, 21. Jeremy Taylor, 22. Tom Nicholls, 23. Charlie Dixon, 25. Danny Stanley, 26. Matthew Shaw, 27. Clay Cameron, 29. Tom Murphy, 31. Jackson Allen, 32. Brandon Matera, 33. Aaron Hall, 36. Greg Broughton, 37. Jesse Lonergan, 40. Sean Lemmens, 46. Josh Hall