The Brisbane Lions will be boosted by the return of a number of senior players for their trip to Mackay and meeting with St Kilda on Sunday.

Captain Tom Rockliff and Vice-Captains Dayne Zorko, Pearce Hanley, Daniel Merrett and Daniel Rich along with star ruckman Stefan Martin will all pull on the maroon, blue and gold for the first time this year.

Off-season recruit Ryan Bastinac will make his debut for the Club and promising youngster Daniel McStay has also been named for his first hit-out after an injury interrupted pre-season.

Allen Christensen won't play against the Saints, but the Club is confident he will be fit for Round 1 of the AFL Premiership season. revealed yesterday that the 24-year-old had minor finger surgery late last week and has already returned to training, completing 40 minutes of running at Coorparoo.

WATCH: Merrett & Schache Do Mackay

In other positive injury news, Michael Close will play his first senior match in almost 12 months when he returns for the Lions through the NEAFL against Southport on Saturday.

Regarded as an exciting key forward prospect, the 21-year-old suffered a season-ending knee injury (ruptured ACL) in Round 2 last season.

The Club’s medical staff gave Close the all clear this week in what will be a long awaited return for Lions supporters.

Defenders Claye Beams (knee), Darcy Gardiner (ankle and shoulder) and ruckman Trent West (knee) will also play for the Reserves after injury ended their 2015 seasons.

The Lions’ NAB Challenge squad will be trimmed to 26 on Sunday, with an extended bench of eight players and no cap on rotations.

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#Player# Player
1Ben Keays24Liam Dawson
2 Ryan Harwood25Daniel McStay
4Ryan Bastinac26Tom Cutler
5 Mitchell Robinson28Lewis Taylor
7 Tom Bell29Jaden McGrath
8 Rohan Bewick30Eric Hipwood
10 Daniel Rich31Harris Andrews
11 Pearce Hanley32Sam Mayes
12 Stefan Martin34Jonathan Freeman
14 Josh Walker35Ryan Lester
15 Dayne Zorko36Rhys Mathieson
18Nicholas Robertson38Thomas Rockliff
21Daniel Merrett44Archie Smith
22Marco Paparone46 Billy Evans 
23Josh Schache