Lions star Daniher out of AFL semi-final

·2-min read

Star forward Joe Daniher has pulled out of Brisbane's team to face Melbourne in a hammer blow to the Lions' hopes of winning their AFL semi-final.

Daniher, who kicked the winning goal in last week's elimination final over Richmond, withdrew on Friday morning so he could be with his partner while she was in labour.

The news of his withdrawal came just hours before the sudden-death final at the MCG.

Daniher has booted 39 goals in 18 games this season, including three against the Tigers and had shaped as a key to Brisbane's hopes of progressing.

He has been replaced in the Lions' 22 by fellow tall Tom Fullarton.

"The club supports Joe's decision to be with his family at this time and respects their privacy," the Lions said in a statement.

Brisbane had already lost ruckman Oscar McInerney to concussion and were forced to recall Darcy Fort.

The Lions will welcome back Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth from suspension, while last week's substitute Callum Ah Chee has been elevated to their line-up.

Mitch Robinson, Jaxon Prior and Rhys Mathieson were dropped.

Brisbane are attempting to pull off a massive turnaround in results against the Demons, having lost to Melbourne by 64 in round 15 and 58 in round 23.

The winner of Friday night's match will progress to a preliminary final against Geelong at the MCG next week.

Daniher shot to stardom with a 65-goal campaign for Essendon in 2017.

But a debilitating case of osteitis pubis plagued him for the next three seasons, with Daniher notching just 15 AFL games across that stretch.

His high-profile trade to the Lions at the end of 2020 sparked a change in fortunes, with Daniher playing 42 games and booting 85 goals across the past two seasons.