Rep talk cuts Lions big man down to size - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rep talk cuts Lions big man down to size

By Laine Clark 03/06/2009 06:18:03 PM Comments (0)

Being thrown into the All-Australian mix makes Brisbane Lions ruckman Mitch Clark shift uneasily.

Indeed just being considered as the Lions' No.1 ruckman makes Clark go coy.

There is speculation Clark is threatening West Coast big man Dean Cox's perennial All-Australian claim.

Not bad for a forward recently thrown into the deep end at the Lions following long-term injuries to ruckmen Matthew Leuenberger and Jamie Charman.

Clark's duel with Carlton's Matthew Kreuzer at the Gabba on Saturday night is expected to give All-Australian selectors further food for thought.

Clark has matched hit-outs with the competition's best big men while racking up quality disposals around the ground.

His performance in the Lions' last round win over the Kangaroos was typical of the in-form Clark - 21 possessions, 29 hitouts and six centre clearances against North Melbourne's Hamish McIntosh.

But mention representative selection to Clark and he almost blushes.

"I'm just enjoying my footy at the moment and enjoying the task and the challenge of going up against the ruckmen, so hopefully I can continue with my form and provide a contest for the team," Clark said.

For a bloke who is supposed to be pressuring Cox for an All-Australian nod, Clark certainly did his hopes no favours by talking up his West Coast rival on Wednesday.

"I think Dean Cox has probably taken the ruck to a new level with his follow up work," he said.

"He's basically an extra midfielder so that's what the modern ruckman is turning into now."

Clark wasn't even sure how long he would be holding the ruckman role, with Leuenberger determined to reclaim the No.1 tag this season despite nursing a serious knee injury.

And premiership-winning big man Charman is scheduled to return from an ankle complaint in three weeks.

At least Clark is warming to the ruck role after feeling claustrophobic in the forward line thanks to Jonathan Brown and Daniel Bradshaw.

"It was a bit tough having the two big fellas down there to get a bit of the ball so when the opportunity came to play in the ruck I jumped at it," Clark said.

"(But) whether Charmo or Leuey come back later this year, who knows, we will see what happens.

"I feel important to the team I suppose and also just a bit of freedom to roam around the field and become like an extra midfielder is good as well."

But Lions coach Michael Voss is an unashamed Clark fan.

"He's hardly had a break in games and just still keeps presenting," Voss said.

"I think that he's enjoyed the responsibility of being the No.1 - we haven't had another option so he's it."

The Lions have cracked the top four with a 6-4 record, including four wins in their last five games - but there are seven teams breathing down their necks on 5-5, including Carlton.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news