BRISBANE Lions rookie Reuben William will make his debut on Saturday against Gold Coast.

William, 18, is of South Sudanese origin and was taken by the Lions in last year's NAB Rookie Draft at pick no.20.

The running defender has spent the season in the NEAFL and was upgraded to the senior list in place of injured star Dayne Beams.

He is a product of the Lions Academy and is quick, evasive, loves to take the game on and is a strong tackler.

William was part of Queensland's successful under-18 team last year and was given the news of his debut by Lions captain Tom Rockliff on Thursday.

"I really don't know what to say. I wasn't really expecting this so it's caught me a bit off guard," he said.

"I'll go out there and put on the jumper with pride."