Hawthorn premiership player Grant Birchall will make his debut with the Brisbane Lions on Saturday at the Gabba after missing round one with hamstring tightness. Watch LIVE Now: https://bit.ly/watchrugby-live The 32-year-old running defender will slot into the role left vacant by former Hawks skipper Luke Hodge, who ended his career with a stint at the Lions, helping them make the finals last season under Chris Fagan. Birchall played 248 games with the Hawks but has managed just eight AFL games in the past three seasons as he repeatedly battled knee and soft tissue problems. His injury troubles followed a remarkable run between 2006-2016 when he rarely missed a game. The Tasmanian-born Birchall crossed to the Lions as an unrestricted free agent during the trade period in the hope of reviving his career and believes he has plenty of football left in him in the new environment.Callum Ah Chee and Tom Berry, the younger brother of tough on-baller Jarrod Berry are also likely to play against Fremantle in round two in their first game for the Lions, who lost to Hawthorn at the MCG in round one. The Lions hope to take advantage of having four games at the Gabba between rounds two and five to get their season off to a good start.
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