Bulked up young gun ready to get physical
LIONS young gun Hugh McCluggage has stacked on the kilos ahead of the new season, in a bid to avoid being pushed around in contested situations.
The talented midfielder will play in Brisbane's first JLT clash against the Swans this Saturday, after backline coach Murray Davis named his line-up on Thursday.
McCluggage, who signed a three-year extension at the end of last year, is looking to have a bigger and better 2018, following an impressive debut season.
And to help prepare himself for the challenges ahead, the 19-year-old has put on 5kg.
McCluggage said, with the help of the club's strength and conditioning coaches, he has hit 82kg in the pre-season and is ready to test himself against the competition.
"My goal at the start of the year was to put on a little bit of weight," he said.
"It's so you can hold your own in the contest, win a few more one-on-ones and that sort of thing.
"I was pretty light when I first came in so it was pretty much a no-brainer for me that I had to put on some weight.
"It's pretty self-driven ... I'm pretty happy with how I'm sitting coming into this year and will hold it pretty steady.
"Now I just have to improve the contested side of my game and see how it goes from there."
McCluggage said the biggest change he made to help his weight gain was to alter his gym program.
He also worked closely with the club to ensure he did not lose any fitness as he put on more muscle.
"Being able to hold your fitness while you do this is pretty important," he said.
"The strength and conditioning blokes give a fair bit of input into what you want to do and how you feel.
"It doesn't feel like I've put on that much because it's been managed really well and it's happened gradually."
Harris Andrews will captain the Lions on Saturday, with Dayne Beams not playing following the death of his father on Wednesday night.
Vice-skipper Dayne Zorko and veteran recruit Luke Hodge have been rested.
No. 1 draft pick Cameron Rayner will start in the forward line, while fellow draftee Jack Payne has been named on the interchange bench.
BRISBANE LIONS JLT TEAM:
B: Sam Mayes 32, Daniel McStay 25, Darcy Gardiner 27
HB: Nick Robertson 18, Harris Andrews 31, Alex Witherden 29
C: Daniel Rich 10, Charlie Cameron 23, Ryan Lester 35
HF: Lewis Taylor 28, Allen Christensen 3, Hugh McCluggage 6
F: Mitch Robinson 5, Eric Hipwood 30, Cameron Rayner 16
Foll: Stefan Martin 12, Jarrod Berry 13, Rhys Mathieson 36
I/C: Ben Keays 1, Ryan Bastinac 4, Tom Bell 7, Josh Walker 14, Jacob Allison 19, Cedric Cox 20, Jack Payne 40, Jake Barrett 43
Emergencies: Rohan Bewick 8, Tom Cutler 26, Brandon Starcevich 37, Oscar McInerney 46