Sub-rule could be made fairer, Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sub-rule could be made fairer, Brown

Jim Morton 01/04/2011 05:45:54 PM Comments (0)

Jonathan Brown believes the AFL should tweak the controversial sub rule to allow fit replaced players to re-enter games if a teammate is badly injured like he was at the Gabba.

A black-and-blue Brown on Friday fronted the media for the first time since suffering multiple facial fractures in Brisbane's season-opening two-point loss to Fremantle.

The Lions skipper had been among the minority who supported the newly-introduced rule but felt his own team's example showed more "tinkering" was required to ensure it was fair.

The Lions, who had substituted first-gamer Claye Beams after he copped a third-quarter knock, were reduced to a bare 18 players during the final term after Brown and Brent Staker (knee) were injured, and Mitch Clark dazed.

Brown said the rule would work better if a fit Beams was allowed to return.

"I haven't had too many problems with (the sub rule) but maybe now we could re-use the guy who has been subbed off and the (injured) player has to pay a penalty the next week," he said.

"I could have subbed out and Claye Beams could have come back on.

"That way the AFL could keep the sub rule for the reasons (it was introduced) to keep more of a level playing field."

Brown believed an automatic one-week rest for the injured substituted player would prevent clubs rorting the system.

The superstar forward dismissed the common belief Brisbane's finals hopes had been dashed by his eight-week injury and predicted versatile ruckman Clark would fill his big boots.

"The club has copped its knocks this week obviously with the injuries and then a lot fo people jumping off us and saying we're gone but the players have a hell of a lot of pride in their performance," Brown said

"Mitch Clark has had as good a pre-season as I've seen at the Lions and he's shown in the past he's held the forward line together.

"He's kicked multiple goals before and he's now one of our senior leaders so I'm sure he'll do a good job.

"But one of the biggest improvements over the pre-season was getting a better spread of goalkickers so that will happen."

Brown also warned former teammate Justin Sherman he could expect a bruising reunion with the Lions on Sunday at Etihad Stadium when he plays his second match for the Western Bulldogs.

Sherman angered Brisbane coach Michael Voss after saying he was looking forward to more stability with the Bulldogs following the Lions "mixed messages" which led to a "roller-coaster lifestyle".

"I'm not worried about blokes who aren't here any more, they didn't want to be wearing our colours and we'll make sure they feel those colours on the weekend and going forward," Brown said.

"I'm only worried about the blokes that are still here at this footy club and they're the blokes who put their heart and soul into the recovery from what was an ordinary last year."

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