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Lions ready for 'big brotherhood' game against Lachie's old mates

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BRISBANE'S clash against Fremantle on Sunday is a "big brotherhood" game, with Lachie Neale facing his former club for the first time since leaving during the off-season.

Neale spent seven seasons with the Dockers and played 135 games before departing and has been a major catalyst for the Lions' surge into fourth place.

Gun youngster Hugh McCluggage said Brisbane spoke about playing at Optus Stadium shortly after Saturday's heart-stopping one-point victory over Adelaide.

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"I don't know what they'll do but it's a hostile crowd over there and we'll have to be really close, (it's a) big brotherhood game," he said.

"We'll have to get around each other and especially him and help him out."

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Neale has had a sensational start to his Lions career, averaging a League-high 34 disposals a game, including another 39 in a best on ground performance against the Crows.

He is also ranked equal second for contested possessions (17.9), barely behind former teammate Nat Fyfe (18).

"He chose to come here, so he might get a little bit of a rough reception, we'll wait and see," McCluggage said.

"He was such a good servant for them, so I think there's a lot of respect there from the players, coaches and the supporters.

"We're not too worried about it, we'll just go out there and play footy.

"The crowd doesn't come into it too much."

Aside from his eye-popping numbers, Neale's influence can be seen through the rest of Brisbane's midfield.

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McCluggage, about to play his 50th game, has been one of the beneficiaries, taking huge strides forward in his third season, averaging 23 touches and kicking 11 goals.

Captain Dayne Zorko is no longer getting tagged, while Jarrod Berry, Mitch Robinson and Jarryd Lyons also have more room to roam.

"He's so good at getting the ball inside and dishing it out," McCluggage said.

"He just finds a way to get the footy where you don't think anyone can get it.

"It's a pleasure to be able to get a few from him and use my strength, which is in space.

"He's always doing touch, he's always trying to make his hands better and he's probably one of the best in the comp at it and he's still trying to improve it day in and day out.

"That's probably what I've taken from him."