The Brisbane Lions will unveil their fourth debutant in as many weeks after informing Brandon Ryan he will play against his former Club Hawthorn on Sunday.

Ryan, who played three AFL matches for the Hawks after being selected in the 2023 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, will come full circle when he runs out at Marvel Stadium.

The 200-centimetre forward arrived at the Lions’ den on the final day of last year’s Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period, which saw Jack Gunston return to the Hawks.


Now after five VFL appearances in the maroon, blue and gold the 26-year-old gets his chance at AFL level as a Lion.

“It’s hard to believe I was making my debut less than 12 months ago for Hawthorn, now against them for another team,” Ryan said.

“I think it’s special, a bit of a full circle moment as I also made my debut at Marvel (Stadium) with the Hawks so now it’s at Marvel and against them.

“But to be doing it representing the Brisbane Lions is such an honour.

“The Lions have been one of the top teams for years now and have so many decorated names, so to be running out with those guys makes me feel very proud.”

The tall forward, nicknamed ‘Sticks’, is an exciting talent for the Lions given his athleticism and aerial abilities.

Ryan showed glimpses of his capabilities in his three games with the Hawks last season, highlighted by three goals against eventual premier Collingwood.

The first-year Lion said he wasn’t sure what to expect from his former Club on Sunday, though felt at ease after he spoke with senior coach Chris Fagan.

“I just want to go in and make sure I’m doing everything I can to play the role that’s needed and contribute to give the best chance of us winning,” Ryan said. 

“Fages (Chris Fagan) has been really good in the sense he hasn’t put any pressure on me and has just told me to keep it simple.

“He’s been very good of just making sure I’m ready to go and backs me in to play my role. All the coaches have prepared me really well.”

Ryan spent time playing for Geelong West Giants and Maribyrnong Park, as well as VFL side’s North Melbourne and Northern Bullants before being drafted to Hawthorn.