Lions coach impressed with Rayner

29 December 2017 22:32:41 GMTPlus11
Hugh McCluggage

Cameron Rayner is in the frame to make an immediate debut for Brisbane, on the strength of his pre-season form.

The No.1 draft pick has impressed coach Chris Fagan during the first month of training, though Fagan won't guarantee him a place in the opening round away to St Kilda.

We've got a bunch of good young blokes that want to get there and the older guys are really trying to step up.

Chris Fagan

Despite finishing bottom of the ladder with just five wins in the coach's first season, he has plenty of talent at his disposal including recruits Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron as well as the new draftees.

Fagan said the form of Rayner and fellow draftees Zac Bailey and Brandon Starcevich made it difficult for him to decide on his best 22.

Speaking of Rayner, the coach said: "When the balls are out, no-one tries harder or competes harder; he's made a good impression. He's a humble young bloke, loves his footy, wants to be good, and is pretty level-headed.

"We like what we've seen so far. He looks like he's got the capacity to play pretty early in the piece, but we'll see how he goes over the rest of the pre-season."

Fagan didn't shy away from handing debuts to draftees in his first campaign. He brought in Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry in round three, while Cedric Cox made his bow the following week.

The coach said everyone was performing so well in training that it was tough for him to know what his best team would be.

"It was probably more obvious this time last year," added Fagan. "We've got a bunch of good young blokes that want to get there and the older guys are really trying to step up."

Brisbane are 500/1 to finish in the top eight.

The Lions are 47/20 to win their first game of the season against St Kilda, who are 7/20.

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