TO AN OUTSIDER, you wouldn't find two more different people than Mitch Robinson and Daniel Rich.
One is an extrovert, demonstrative on the field and loves to barrel into contests and inspire his teammates with ferocity and courage.
The other is quietly spoken, with shaggy blonde hair and a left boot that is arguably the most damaging in the AFL. A player that influences with precision and is aesthetically fun to watch.
But the pair of Brisbane veterans have something important in common.
They were both moved from their preferred midfield roles by coach Chris Fagan and have gone on to not only flourish in new positions to elongate their careers, but be crucial cogs in the Lions' premiership push.
Robinson's change was drastic. In six seasons at Carlton and his first four at Brisbane, the 32-year-old had established a reputation as an inside midfielder that loved the contest. He was a true inside midfielder.
Robinson won a best and fairest in 2015 and was runner-up in 2016, but things changed on the eve of 2019, Fagan's third season at the helm.
"We recruited JL (Jarryd Lyons), Lachie (Neale), (Dayne) Zorko was playing in there. I was getting pushed out to the B team (in match simulation) for whatever reason," Robinson recalled to AFL.com.au.
"Me and Fages had a chat about playing on the wing. I was like 'that's not my position at all. That's an outside player'.
"I thought it was a soft position out there."
However, with third-year ace Hugh McCluggage on the opposite wing, Robinson saw it as his best way to stay in the 22 and hasn't looked back.
He's played 62 of a possible 65 games over the past three season, missing only the 2019 semi-final with a hamstring strain and sitting out the past two weeks with a calf niggle.
He earned a one-year contract extension during the week and is like a caged lion ready to burst out against Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Robinson said learning the wing role took time. It wasn't something that could be easily measured by the number of disposals and clearances like he was used to.
"Hughy is out there receiving the ball and doing the flashy stuff and I'm getting back to help support (the defence), get up and down the ground," he said.
"Every player looks at what they're putting out. There's no dancing around the fact if you don't get your hands on the ball at all, you're not going to be playing games, because you're like a witches' hat.
"What Fages drills into us is it's an actual role. You're not going to get the ball all the time.
"I think I'm in the elite category for intercepts, so that's a role I can do, get back to clean up some ground balls or spoil or mark."
Robinson will stand behind stoppages around the ground to be the eyes and voice for his midfielders and he'll pick up opposition midfielders looking to leak forward from congestion without an opponent.
Likewise, Rich had to learn a new role in 2017, Fagan's first year at the club. Drafted as a midfielder and winner of the 2009 NAB AFL Rising Star award, the blonde West Australian only knew one position.
"I think he'd seen it in the past with the likes of (Sam) Mitchell, (Luke) Hodge and those guys at Hawthorn and could see that it worked," Rich said.
"I was welcomed by the men's department down back and I've kind of loved that time back there and feel really comfortable back there.
"That's why he's such a good coach because he can see those things in players and it's worked out best for me."
It worked out so well that Rich, 31, earned his first All Australian selection on Thursday night, capping a home and away season that saw him top the League for metres gained.
His lethal kicking is responsible for much of Brisbane's attack from its defensive half.
Like Robinson, he signed on for another year earlier in the season.
So different, yet so alike, the transformation of these two Lions has been critical to the team's overall success.
"I feel fresh and ready to go," Robinson said.
"It's been a long year and we got written off pretty early that we weren't going to play finals, so for us to get top four is massive.
"This is when it really counts. We just want to win. What better chance to prove ourselves than against the best team in the comp."