JUSTIN Leppitsch has no idea how high-profile recruit Dayne Beams will perform against Collingwood on Saturday night, but had no hesitation likening the midfielder to an iconic American actor.

After six seasons and 110 games with the Magpies, Beams signed with the Brisbane Lions during the off-season, and gets an immediate chance to play his old teammates first up at the Gabba.

When asked how he thought the 25-year-old had handled the week to date, Leppitsch started smiling.

"You wouldn't know with Dayne, seriously," Leppitsch said.

"He's the James Dean of the competition, he's cool, he's calm. There might be stuff going on inside him but you'd never tell with Beamsy, he's a very cool customer.

"If he has nerves you'll never know by looking at him."

Beams won a premiership with Collingwood in 2010 and backed up with All Australian selection and a best and fairest in 2012.

Leppitsch said the calm demeanour had been a big help around the young Lions.

"Often when you get a little bit flustered, the brain stops working and he's got a good ability to get the guys on task and let them know 'it's OK, let's just get the job done'," Leppitsch said.

"That's a really important part of leadership."

One new face Beams will be able to help on Saturday night is Bendigo product Jaden McGrath, who has quickly climbed the ladder to make his senior debut.

Chosen at No.73 in last year's AFL Draft, McGrath has played all three NAB Challenge matches to win his spot.

"When I went and saw him after the draft and went down to Kerang and saw this skinny kid, I thought there was no way this guy's playing footy this year," Leppitsch said.

"He's jumped the queue very quickly and I didn't expect it and probably he didn't either.

"There's a pretty simple lesson in life, if you put in good performances, put your head over the ball, do what's asked, you get a go.

"Over the weeks I was probably trying to find way to keep him out of the team because you're thinking 'he's a pick 70, he's a skinny kid, surely this can't be happening' but he's defied all those odds.

"He's only playing his first game, he's still got a lot of work to do, but he's impressed the coaches a lot."