Lions excited by Leuey return

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 01 Maret 2013 | 12.50

Matthew Leuenberger works on his tapwork at Lions training at Coorparoo. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: The Courier-Mail

WHEN Brisbane vice-captain Tom Rockliff thinks about the difference having Matthew Leuenberger on the field, his face lights up.

In fact, he smiled his way through an interview after AFL training today from the time Leuenberger's name was mentioned until he stopped raving about him two minutes later.

The 204cm ruckman, who is at the end of a long road back from an achilles injury he sustained three games into the 2012 season, didn't take part in the slippery training session at Coorparoo.

But to the delight of Rockliff and coach Michael Voss, he will be on the club's private charter flight to play a pre-season match against Greater Western Sydney in Wagga tomorrow night.

The Lions will be missing several guns, who will be available for next weekend's clash with Collingwood, but all eyes will be on Leuenberger's eagerly-anticipated comeback.

Rockliff said having the club's No.1 ruckman back would be a "massive benefit".

"It is great to see the big fella back out there, he's been through a fair bit," he said.

"Luey's our best ruckman and has been for a couple of years.

"I think we saw at the end of 2011, those last 10 games he was one of, if not the, best ruckman in the competition.

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"The ability for him to get up and give us first use in the midfield, I think that's something we lacked last year - taking nothing away from Huddo (Ben Hudson), he was fantastic for us."

Leuenberger's speed across the ground for such a big man, combined with his ability to give teammates like Rockliff first use of the ball, will make Brisbane even more dangerous this year.

"He's pretty much a fourth midfielder for us but also gives us the ability to get our hands on the ball first," Rockliff said. 

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