DAYNE Beams says he needs Brisbane Lions teammate Tom Rockliff in his corner for the club to succeed.

Beams officially took over from Rockliff as the Lions captain last month, leading a seven-man leadership group under new coach Chris Fagan.

Rockliff became one of the most contentious figures in the game during a tumultuous 2016, reportedly looking to be traded and being sanctioned by the club for a social media indiscretion.

But since returning for the pre-season in November, Rockliff is a new man according to straight-shooting Beams.

"If you had asked Tom at the start of pre-season if he'd have many people's (players') votes (for captaincy), I reckon he would have admitted he wouldn't have," Beams told

"So what he's been able to do over the last four or five months is a real credit to him - he's been able to change peoples' opinions of him and just put his head down and work hard."

Rockliff has stripped kilograms from his frame over the pre-season, and Beams says the work ethic has not gone unnoticed.

Just three seasons ago Rockliff was an All Australian and two-time club best and fairest winner, but injury and off-field dramas have got him more headlines in recent times.

"Your actions speak louder than your words and I think that's what Tom's focussed on over the last four months," Beams said.

"What he has been able to do is earn back the respect of the group and it's a credit to him.

"He's someone I need in my corner.

"Tom's one of the best on-field leaders I've seen in terms of his understanding of the game. The way he communicates to people out on the ground is first class.

"I need him in my corner and I need his help."

Dayne Beams catches up with former teammate, Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury. Picture: AFL Photos