Lions bracing for longer stint in Victoria

·2-min read

The Brisbane Lions will almost certainly remain in Victoria until after their round-four AFL game due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland's capital city.

Instead of hosting Collingwood at the Gabba, Thursday night's blockbuster has been moved to Marvel Stadium after the city of Brisbane was placed into a three-day lockdown.

But with the Lions scheduled to play the rampant Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium on April 10, the club will not return home after playing the Magpies.

"We're here this week and we're more than likely to be staying (longer) because we play the Bulldogs in Ballarat the week after," Lions chief executive Greg Swann told 3AW.

"Hopefully they can get it under control in Brisbane, but at this stage we'll be here for that period.

"If it had have been none or one case I think we would have gone home and played at the Gabba."

Defenders Darcy Gardiner and Marcus Adams, as well as Rhys Mathieson and Connor Ballenden, have to flown down as emergencies ahead of the match against Collingwood.

The clash with the Magpies already shapes as season-defining for last year's preliminary finalists, who slumped to 0-2 after their controversial one-point defeat in Geelong last Friday night.

Swann believes the Lions will have no problem handling the challenges of hub life and will embrace the opportunity to connect with the club's Melbourne-based supporters.

"(The players have) been in good spirits. The upside is we can walk around. A lot of the boys have family and friends here," Swann said.

The Easter Thursday match is traditionally the Lions' biggest of the year and Swann says not hosting it at the Gabba will hurt the club's balance sheet.

"(Round 22) will never be as good as Easter Thursday because we get a lot of Collingwood people coming up for a holiday," he said.

"There will be a bit of financial damage but that's the COVID-era we're in."