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Who plays in Round 1?

Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  March 15, 2017 2:49 PM

dbeams-2017topteam.jpg

With round one approaching, AFL.com.au reporters have had a stab at picking their best 22 for the season opener. Here is who Michael Whiting believes will line up for the Lions in Round one:

Gold Coast v BRISBANE LIONS, Metricon Stadium, Saturday, March 25, 7.05pm AEST

B: Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews, Ryan Harwood

HB: Daniel Rich, Dan McStay, Sam Mayes

C: Rohan Bewick, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Lester

HF: Mitch Robinson, Eric Hipwood, Lewis Taylor

F: Jake Barrett, Michael Close, Ben Keays

Foll: Stefan Martin, Tom Rockliff, Dayne Beams

I/C: Tom Cutler, Ryan Bastinac, Tom Bell, Nick Robertson

New faces: Jake Barrett

Missing with injury/suspension: Allen Christensen (collarbone, 6-8 weeks), Jack Frost (suspended, 1 week), Hugh McCluggage (ankle, 1-2 weeks), Josh Schache (knee, 1-2 weeks).

Notes: Still a lot to learn for coach Chris Fagan about his young Lions team. With Frost suspended for the opening round, the second key defender – likely to mark 'Two Metre' Peter Wright – is a bit of a headache. It comes down to McStay, who hasn't played much footy, Josh Walker or possibly upgrading Matthew Hammelmann. I've gone for McStay as a one-game solution, although expect him to play forward more often this season. Schache and McCluggage are both 50-50 to play round one, but being so young, let's assume the Lions err on the side of caution and leave them out. Barrett will be elevated off the rookie list and earn his position. Rhys Mathieson and Claye Beams are very unlucky.

What do you think?

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