Team of Origin – Brisbane Lions

Updated: May 3, 2018

Everyone knows the rules behind State of Origin. It’s unlikely ever to happen again, so what if we take an even more unbelievable premise and see what happens.

Team of Origin is pretty straight forward. The idea is that every player is sent back to the club that originally drafted them. What would that team look like, and how would they perform?

A couple of quick notes, this assumes that Dumbledore has waived his magic wand across the AFL, and everyone is magically 100% healthy. A player also does not need to have played for their original team to qualify. It is simply who drafted them first.

Today we look at the Brisbane Lions. This is a team that has had a very poor run since their halcyon days of the early 2000’s. They have had a lot of high draft picks, and a lost a lot of players to the ‘go home factor’. Let’s see what their team would look like if the AFL changed the rules and stopped draftee’s leaving their club.

Back Line

The back line for the Lions is fairly solid. Young guns Harris Andrews and Alex Witherden are surrounded by a couple of wily veterans in Daniel Rich and Pearce Hanley. Sam Docherty will play ‘the quarterback’ role here, providing link up plays across half back.


It says a lot for the actual Brisbane team that all except 1 player in this midfield are now at other clubs. Second year player Hugh ‘The Suitcase’ McLuggage is surrounded by a whole new midfield led by former captain Tom Rockliff and West Coast Eagles players Elliot Yeo and Jack Redden. This midfield is largely inside, so may lack a bit of dash around the outside of the packs.

Forward Line

The Lions forward line will struggle. They are young and dynamic, but with that comes inexperience. Hipwood and Schache provide the tall targets, with a fleet of smaller runners around them. It’s hard to see that forward line kicking a winning score most weeks.


Tom Rockliff returns to the Lions, and despite some outside whispers of discontent, is named captain. Sam Docherty is his vice captain, with Elliot Yeo and Daniel Rich in the leadership team. I have no doubt there will be more rumblings about Rocky’s ability to lead once the losses start stacking up.


With 13 out of Brisbane’s Club of Origin 22 currently at other clubs, it just goes to show the struggle the Lions have had to retain players over the past few years. Hopefully they have turned that culture around and will return to the finals in the next few years.

In terms of this team, they would still be down the bottom of the ladder. They actually have a few players in their best 22 who are not in the best 22 at their current club – including (arguably) captain Tom Rockliff. Throw in Longer, Schache, Leuenberger and Rischitelli and that is 5 players who are not currently getting games at other clubs. They still have some good kids, who would hopefully develop, but they are still a long way from being a competitive team.

Ladder Prediction – Bottom 4

If you enjoyed this article, why not read previous Club of Origin Teams – Adelaide

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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