Jimmy Tunstill has been named to make his debut for the Brisbane Lions in Thursday night’s top-of-the-ladder clash against Melbourne at the MCG.

The young midfielder received the call-up to replace captain Dayne Zorko, with coach Chris Fagan making the call on Wednesday morning that the veteran wouldn’t play due to injury.

The West Australian, who was taken with pick 41 in the 2021 draft, was told of his selection at a team meeting this week.

“On the back of several weeks of really strong performances in the reserves playing on the wing, we’ve decided to give Jimmy Tunstill his first go at AFL footy,” Fagan announced to the group.

“We just thought we’d go against the Dees at the MCG on Thursday night and give him the baptism of fire.

01:24 Mins
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James Tunstill gets his opportunity.

Watch the teams reaction to Jimmy getting announced that he will make his debut.

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“You’ve made a good impression at the place since you’ve arrived, you’ve trained hard head down backside up.

“And this is what happens when you do that, you start to perform and you get an opportunity. All you’ve got to do is do your role.”

Tunstill is one of three ins for the Lions with Thomas Berry and Jack Payne also being selected to take on the Demons.

Berry comes in for Zac Bailey who will miss the match the after entering the AFL's COVID-19 health and safety protocol.

It will be an extra special occasion for Berry and his brother Jarrod, both Breast Cancer Network Australia ambassadors, as it is the Pink Lady AFL Match.

The brothers took on the ambassador roles in memory of their mother, Jedda, who passed away from breast cancer in 2013.

Payne, a key position player, was included in the side after solid form in the VFL and will take the place of injured defender Darcy Gardiner.