Tasmanians making themselves at home in Brisbane with Lions

NEW FACES: Brisbane Lions draftees (from left) Josh Clayton, Josh Watts, Jaden McGrath and Josh McGuinness at the Gabba yesterday.
NEW FACES: Brisbane Lions draftees (from left) Josh Clayton, Josh Watts, Jaden McGrath and Josh McGuinness at the Gabba yesterday. DAN Peledaap

AFL: Tasmania may not have its own team to support in the AFL, but footy fans from the Apple Isle will no doubt have a soft spot for the Brisbane Lions next season.

The Lions have added three Tasmanians to their playing list in the past month, with last week's national draft yielding Glenorchy's Josh Watts and Lauderdale's Josh McGuinness.

The pair joins ex-Carlton midfielder Mitch Robinson, who was also from Lauderdale and was welcomed as a delisted free agent, and regular senior players Ryan Harwood, a defender from Glenorchy, and forward Josh Green, from Clarence.

Watts (194cm) and McGuinness (189cm) are both earmarked for defensive roles in the future, alongside Justin Clarke and Darcy Gardiner, after being taken with picks 65 and 81 respectively.

Watts has been handed the No.20 jumper, previously worn by Simon Black, which was delivered in a box to his home last weekend by coach Justin Leppitsch.

"Dad opened it up and said 'you've got No.20'," Watts told yesterday. "It's a shock, but an honour as well. I've got big shoes to fill."

Along with Watts and McGuinness, the Lions also unveiled fellow draftees Josh Clayton and Jaden McGrath at the Gabba yesterday.

McGrath, taken with pick 73 from the Bendigo Pioneers, is a small forward, while Clayton, the son of former player and current Gold Coast recruiting manager Scott, is a utility from the Sandringham Dragons and was selected at pick 86.

Queenslanders Liam Dawson (pick 44) and Harris Andrews (pick 61) were the Lions' first two draft selections as graduates from their academy program.

Topics:  afl brisbane lions sport

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