Jack Payne will reap the rewards of his hard work in the VFL this weekend, named in the Lions’ Best 22 against West Coast on Saturday. 

With tall forward Joe Daniher (shoulder) and defender Darcy Gardiner (AFL Health & Safety Protocols) sidelined, Payne has been called up for his first senior appearance of the 2022 season. 

His selection comes off the back of a number of standout performances in the VFL, including last Sunday’s 59-point demolition of Sydney where he gathered 24 disposals, 20 kicks and 12 marks. 

Speaking on Payne’s inclusion in this weekend’s team, Senior Coach Chris Fagan said that Saturday’s game presented an opportunity to reward Payne’s development. 

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“We’re going to give Jack Payne a run this week,” Fagan said. 

“He’s had injury setbacks but we’ve seen a growth in his maturity and it’s good to be able to reward him with an opportunity.” 

Veteran defender Ryan Lester will also come into the side, bringing another element of versatility and dependability to the Lions’ backline. 

Jaxon Prior will hold his position in Fagan’s 22 after bouncing back from a heavy hit in last Sunday’s clash against Sydney.