BRISBANE Lions youngster Ben Keays will make his AFL debut against the Sydney Swans at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon.

Keays, 19, is a product of the Lions' academy and was recruited with pick No.24 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.

He has averaged nearly 30 disposals and a goal per game for the Lions' reserves side in the NEAFL this season.

Lions coach Justin Leppitsch broke the news to the youngster on Wednesday morning before it was announced to his teammates.

Match preview: Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans

"It's been something I've been waiting for a long time," Keays told the club's website.

"I was battling it out in the reserves and we were having some tough losses, but I was just trying to do everything right and keep working hard and in the end I got the reward."

Keays was recruited as an inside midfielder after dominating division two of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships last year. He has twice been named an under-18 All Australian and also won the Harrison Medal as the best player in division two last year.

But the Lions will use him at half-forward against the Swans after he kicked three goals in the reserves.

"I'll be playing up forward – so it's something a bit different," Keays said.

"I did spend last week in the reserves up forward. It's a role I've played in the past as a junior. It's obviously a little different so I'll keep learning and hanging off the small forwards and get their advice."

Keays will be the second Lion to make his AFL debut this season after Josh Schache in round one against West Coast.