Lachie Neale, Cam Rayner and Eric Hipwood. Picture: AFL Photos

ESSENDON champion Matthew Lloyd has put the spotlight on Brisbane's senior players, including co-captains Lachie Neale and Harris Andrews, to ask themselves tough questions as the Lions look to kick-start their spluttering season.

The Lions will head into Sunday's QClash against Gold Coast with a 2-5 record and their finals hopes in jeopardy having fallen just short of a premiership last season.

While Lloyd questioned the club's depth, saying its bottom six players are "a long way off other teams", he's put the onus squarely on the Lions' best players to change their attitude.

"A guy like Cameron Rayner, for example, can be so good against Melbourne and I thought he was so good in the first half (against Greater Western Sydney on Thursday), but he had three disposals (in the second half)," Lloyd said on's Access All Areas.

"I'd love to ask Cam or the Lions a question - does he work as hard as Isaac Heeney or Sam Walsh? Does he? They're the questions I'd ask of him.

Cam Rayner runs during Brisbane's training session at Brighton Homes Arena on April 9, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"Eric Hipwood, I'd love to see him spend a week with Jeremy Cameron and say 'do you run?' and measure their 'kays'. I know they play different roles, but how many contests does Hipwood and Daniher get to? Do we ever see Tom Hawkins drop and not chase like we see Joey Daniher not chase?

"Lachie Neale, he doesn't handle the tag very well. I don't see the other champion players drop their bundle like Lachie Neale drops his bundle when he gets sat on. And he's a leader.

"Harris Andrews trails in far too often for a captain.

"I hope some of them listen and see that that's what's having them fall short a lot of the time."


More than nine months after coach Chris Fagan made the tough call to axe senior players Daniel Rich and Jack Gunston,'s chief football correspondent Damian Barrett said the time may have come for Fagan to make some more tough selection calls.

"It hurt him to do it, but it changed and transformed the attitude at that club," Barrett said of Fagan's call last June to drop Rich and Gunston.

"I think he's at that stage now. I don't claim to know who it is who needs to move, and it might just be an attitudinal change as opposed to a physical personnel change.

"But something needs to be snapped here because it's got away from them already."

The Lions will face the Suns on Sunday night at the Gabba before games against Adelaide, Richmond and Hawthorn.