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Tippett a perfect fit at Brisbane

Sportal August 15, 2012, 1:30 pm
Michael Voss

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Brisbane midfielder Tom Rockliff says the Lions would be 'stupid' not to look at in-demand Adelaide gun Kurt Tippett as a long-term replacement for veteran skipper Jonathan Brown.

Rockliff joined vice-captain Daniel Merrett in voicing public support for a move to bring the 25-year-old Queenslander to the Gabba - and it's understood the wheels are already in motion.

A three-way tug of war between the Gold Coast Suns, the Lions and the Crows looms after the Southport Sharks product put contract discussions on hold until the end of the season.

Brisbane leads the race, having already tabled a five-year deal reportedly worth $650,000 per year, according to ex-Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto.

Rockliff said that Tippett shapes as the perfect candidate to take over from three-time best and fairest winner and 2007 Coleman Medallist Brown, who at 30 years old is in the twilight of his career.

"Obviously it'd be great to have him up here," he said.

"There's got to be a lot of water to go under the bridge before that happens, but Browny's not going to be around forever and we do need to replace him somewhere along the way.

"We've got some good kids coming through but we probably do need an older body up there to help them out and if Tippett's available and he wants to come up, the club would be stupid not to talk to him.

"He'd be a good second ruckman and a key forward - so he can kick goals and go into the ruck."

As speculation regarding the 25-year-old forward's future mounts ahead of the Crows' trip to face the Lions on Saturday night, Tippett's management will meet with Adelaide officials on Friday in Brisbane to discuss his future.

However, Rockliff said the talk has not been a distraction for the Lions' playing group.

"Obviously that's the recruiters' job, list management, to organise who comes to the footy club. The players just have to go out there and play," he said.

"As I said, it'd be great to have him here, but it's not my job and I'm not sure where they're at with that.

"We'll be looking to stop him this weekend though, so whoever gets the match-up will be trying to put him to bed."

Rockliff said the Lions need to finish an improved 2012 season off on the right note, or risk turning their next pre-season into a 'grind'.

"You don't want it to be that way. We want to make sure we come into pre-season up and about, and all guns blazing," he said.

"This is a massive game for the footy club. We've played some good footy against Adelaide in the past and they're going really well at the moment, so it's going to be a great test for our group to see where we're at."

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