The Gold Coast Suns will head north to the Gabba without leader Gary Ablett to meet Brisbane Lions in the sixth edition of the QClash. We’ll have live scores from 4.40pm AEST.
In what so far as been an encouraging season for the Suns, there have been a number of key players who’ve stepped up to assist Ablett in driving this young side.
Just how much they’ve improved will be further known this afternoon, with the little master a late withdrawal on Friday night with a calf injury.
Former Lion Jared Brennan comes into the 22 as a replacement along with Luke Russell and Harley Bennell, who both return from their own respective injuries.
There will be two Brownlow Medallists missing in action tonight, with Simon Black unavailable due to a groin complaint.
Sam Docherty is also missing due to a back problem and Jordan Lisle, James Polkinghorne and Elliot Yeo are all omitted.
On the plus side for Lions coach Michael Voss, key defender Daniel Merrett will come back in after being a late withdrawal in the loss to Hawthorn last Sunday.
Andrew Raines, Rohan Bewick, Josh Green and Sam Mayes are the other inclusions.
Brisbane have won the last four games against the Suns after initially dropping the inaugural QClash back in 2011, but the margins have been tight of late.
The edged Gold Coast by two points in Round 3 this season and won by 11 points in Round 17 last season.
With a full squad available the Suns would look a genuine chance to win this game tonight, but the loss of Ablett is massive for Guy McKenna’s team.
Still, the Lions have hardly been consistent in 2013 and if they turn in a poor performance the Suns might be able to spring a surprise.