Sam Skinner has added to Brisbane's selection headaches with an outstanding showing in Thursday's match simulation in Hobart.
Playing alongside regular key forwards Eric Hipwood and Dan McStay, Skinner stole the show, kicking 3.2 and taking a number of contested marks in the greasy conditions at Kingston's Twin Ovals.
In the hitout that essentially pitted Brisbane's best outfit against the rest in three terms of 15 minutes (plus time-on), new recruits Grant Birchall and Callum Ah Chee also put in eye-catching performances off half-back.
But it was 22-year-old Skinner that raised eyebrows.
After playing Stefan Martin and Oscar McInerney as a two-ruck combination for much of their successful 2019 campaign, the Lions are flirting with playing one specialist ruckman and another forward who can pinch-hit.
Skinner not only marked the ball strongly but offered a physical presence in the contest and was competent in his short ruck minutes.
It's a big step for the Victorian whose career has been cruelled by three knee reconstructions since his draft year.
Skinner has played one career game, in 2017, and said he needed to be consistent to crack into the senior team.
"What I’ve learned with having three knee recos in the last few years is to enjoy a few moments along the way. I was able to clunk a few which was great," Skinner said.
"It’s important to stay in the moment but I’m proud to just to get on the track and be a part of this group.
"I was happy to have a crack in the ‘A’ team today. We’ve still got another couple of months of pre-season, so it won’t come down to the one performance today."
Birchall and Ah Chee both played in the 'probable' team that easily won the contest, looking right at home with their exquisite ball use from the back half.
"I'm just trying to get used to how the boys roll and their patterns and strengths," Birchall said.
"The body's feeling really good at the moment. I'm just trying to get strong and resilient again and doing everything asked of me. It's all been good."
All Australian Lachie Neale, Adelaide recruit Cam Ellis-Yolmen and reliable Jarryd Lyons were exceptional around the contest.
Allen Christensen (back), Mitch Robinson (calf) and Noah Answerth (groin) were the only regulars from last year's team to not play, although all ran strongly and will rejoin the main group next week.