Jack Lukosius (R) challenges for the ball during the R8 match between Gold Coast and Brisbane at the Gabba on May 5, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

JACK Lukosius will return to Gold Coast's forward line this weekend, with coach Damien Hardwick conceding it was a wrong decision to move him to defence.

Lukosius started the season forward, but after two games was moved into the back half of the ground.

The former No.2 draft pick was shifted back into attack for the second half of Sunday night's loss against Brisbane, and Hardwick said he saw enough there to convince him it was where Lukosius played best.


"I spoke to 'Luko' last night and I tried to use a Happy Days metaphor with the 'Fonz'," Hardwick said on Wednesday morning.

"You know the Fonz … he couldn't say the word 'wrong'.

"From my point of view, we tried him back, he went forward and looked really dynamic, looked a class above, so he'll play forward this week.

Jack Lukosius attempts to spoil Matt Roberts during the R6 match between Gold Coast and Sydney at the SCG on April 21, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Hopefully it's a long-term one and the coach doesn't get his head on again and put him down back.

"One thing I pride myself on is I'm open and honest that I don't get things right all the time.

"I like to be very strong in my decisions, but it doesn't mean they're right all the time, so we went through that."

It's ideal timing for Lukosius as the Suns prepare to fly to Darwin for games against North Melbourne and Geelong in the coming week.

The South Australian kicked 10 goals in two matches at TIO Stadium last season – five each against the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide.

Hardwick hinted there would be a few changes to face the Kangaroos on Saturday night, with Bailey Humphrey coming back in after being rested and Ben Long possibly moving into the 22 after a strong performance as the substitute against the Lions.

Bailey Humphrey celebrates a goal during the R6 match between Gold Coast and Sydney at the SCG on April 21, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The coach was keen to protect his players following the heavy QClash loss, saying while they made mistakes, he and the coaches also made some.

"We just didn't execute roles," Hardwick said.

"As a result of that, our system fell apart. It was a good lesson for me as a coach.

"I should have been across it quicker than I was. It took me a half to get it sorted, and even then, we still didn't get some things right as a coach and coaching group.

"It was a good lesson for the players and also good lessons for the coaches as well.

"Sometimes we don't get things right and as a result we get picked apart."


Gold Coast leaves for Darwin on Thursday morning.

Unlike last year when its VFL team also played there on the first weekend, meaning the whole squad headed to the Top End, the Suns will send 25 players with their reserves playing at People First Stadium on Sunday.

"If we think we're going to get up there and run ragged (against North), that's not going to happen," Hardwick said.

"They're a side building on the back of some youth, they've got some really quality players that move the ball by short possession through feet.

"We've got to bring a good brand of Suns footy."