Lions stars benched as coach eyes Hawks

NEW Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch is focusing on round one of the AFL season.

The Lions will take on premiers Hawthorn in Launceston in the opening round next month and that is probably why he does not want to give too much away in tonight's NAB Challenge opener in Melbourne, also against the Hawks.

Jack Redden is just one of a long list of first-choice Lions players who are being rested for the clash at Etihad Stadium.

Redden will be on the sidelines alongside the likes of Jonathan Brown, Daniel Rich, Jed Adcock, Daniel Merrett, Matthew Leuenberger, Pearce Hanley, Joel Patfull and Brent Staker.

Redden expected some of those would come in for the second NAB Challenge game with the Gold Coast in Townsville.

"We'll probably field stronger sides as we get closer to Round 1 of the home-and-away season," Redden said.

While the Lions line-up includes 11 first-gamers and just four players with 50 or more AFL games, the Hawks' team features a dozen of the club's 2013 premiership players.

Topics:  afl australian rules brisbane lions

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