Zac Bailey and Jy Simpkin pose for a photo during a Gather Round media opportunity at Norwood Oval on April 4, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne co-captain Jy Simpkin has no doubt what a week under a blowtorch means for the Kangaroos' next opponent Brisbane.

The winless clubs meet at Norwood Oval in Adelaide in a Friday twilight fixture stoked by claims of a rift within the Lions' den.

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"We expect nothing less than a fierce battle," Simpkin told reporters on Thursday.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan and senior players have rubbished reports of an off-season trip to Las Vegas by a group of players triggering a split.

And Lions forward Zac Bailey is the latest Lion to reject the supposed ructions.

"I wouldn't say there's a rift in the team, we're closer than ever at the moment," Bailey told reporters on Thursday.


"We put all that stuff to rest at the start of the week and our focus is on North Melbourne and hopefully getting the win."

Simpkin said the Kangaroos were bracing for a rugged on-field retort from the Lions in Gather Round.

North's defence, a week after conceding a combined nine goals to Carlton duo Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, face another huge task against the Lions' tall attackers Joe Daniher and Eric Hipwood.

But Simpkin backed full-back Aidan Corr and three-gamer Toby Pink to remain undaunted by the challenge.

"It's obviously tough, I think most weeks they're going to be undersized coming up against these tall guys," Simpkin told reporters.

Brisbane's Zac Bailey, South Australian premier Peter Malinauskas, AFL general manager football operations Josh Mahoney and North Melbourne's Jy Simpkin. Picture: AFL Photos

"Our small defenders don't quite have that height, but the best thing about those guys is they will fight to the end, they are never going to give up.

"You don't have to worry too much about their effort, it's always going to be there."

Simpkin said North's collective resolve remained strong despite losses by 39, 26 and 56 points this season.

"We've had quite a tough start to the season," he said.

"We played the Giants who were in a prelim, Carlton played in a prelim, and obviously we have got the Lions tomorrow who played off in a Grand Final.

"The Lions, they will come out firing looking for their first win."