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Lions v Pies set for Easter Thursday blockbuster

The Lions and Magpies will renew acquaintances at the Gabba on Easter Thursday - AFL,Brisbane Lions,Collingwood Magpies
The Lions and Magpies will renew acquaintances at the Gabba on Easter Thursday

BRISBANE will return to the Thursday night stage for the first time in five years as they renew a once traditional Good Friday eve clash against Collingwood.

The Lions will host the Pies at the Gabba in round five on April 18, with the Easter Thursday clash also the first time Brisbane will face off against former skipper Dayne Beams.

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The Lions hosted their first Easter Thursday fixture against Collingwood at the Gabba in 2003.

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The last time they featured on Good Friday eve was 2014 when the Lions hosted Richmond.

The clash will give the Magpies a seven-day break before their Anzac Day blockbuster against Essendon at the MCG.

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The Easter Thursday game will be followed by the third Good Friday clash, with North Melbourne expected to be given the honours again.

Its opponent has not yet been confirmed.

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AFL general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld said Chris Fagan's rejuvenated Lions had earned the right to host Easter Thursday football once again.

"The Easter Thursday slot was known for a long time to be Brisbane's, with the Lions playing Collingwood for a period of time, and then a number of other clubs," Auld told AFL.com.au.

"We think the Lions deserve that opportunity again to build that into a big event for Queensland and the football club, and what better team to do it against than Collingwood and Dayne Beams."

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Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann said the return of the Easter Thursday clash to the Gabba was a huge win for the Lions.

"Traditionally the Easter Thursday games were our biggest for the year," Swann told AFL.com.au.

"We are delighted that our fans can again enjoy this primetime match at our home ground of the Gabba in 2019. We believe the AFL has recognised we play an exciting brand of footy, which has been justly rewarded by this fixture. We believe this will be huge for our club and football in Queensland."

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Meanwhile, Townsville will host an AFL game for premiership points for the first time.

Gold Coast and St Kilda will travel north in round 13 to play at Riverway Stadium on June 15.

The Townsville fixture replaces the Suns' annual game in Cairns at Cazaly's Stadium, with the club having hosted a match at the venue for the past eight seasons.

"This is the ninth consecutive year we've played a game in North Queensland," Auld said.

"It is great news for Queensland and a really good opportunity for people to come and watch some of the best players play. It's part of a broader partnership the Gold Coast Suns have with the Queensland government through Tourism Events Queensland. 

"It's going to be exciting, it's a great stadium which holds about 10,000 people. It'll be a beautiful time of the year there, the weather will be around 24 degrees."