CHRIS Fagan says a combination of form struggles and niggling injuries have forced him to push veteran wingman Mitch Robinson back to the VFL this weekend.
Robinson missed Brisbane's last start win over Gold Coast with a calf injury, but has proved his fitness and was available for selection to play Sydney at the SCG on Sunday.
However, Fagan has left him out of the 22 to play the Swans.
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"To be fair to Mitch he's probably been battling bits and pieces for a little while now," Fagan said.
"Hopefully he can get back in the reserves, play a good stretch of footy, get his form back and his fitness fully back and challenge for a spot in the seniors.
"I expect him to bounce back pretty quickly."
Robinson has had a disrupted start to 2022, missing round two through suspension and then the Suns game through injury.
Fagan said the 32-year-old had "been battling for a while" with his body and needed to get on top of it.
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His first chance will come in the VFL curtain-raiser against Sydney.
Sunday's match presents Brisbane with a chance to break a 13-year drought at the SCG, a span of time in which they've only visited the venue five times to play the Swans.
Fagan dismissed any extra significance of the contest against John Longmire's men, saying both the venue and playing away from home in general presented no great fears.
"It's got a cricket pitch in the middle, it's probably the ground most similar to our own," he said.
"We feel comfortable enough to play there.
"It's hard to win away from home.
"You always want to beat teams around you on the ladder, that's for sure, but who knows who the best teams are this year."
Fagan hasn't forgotten the last time the teams met, when Sydney sprung a round one surprise in 2021 by thumping the Lions at the Gabba.
"Their ball movement has been pretty special the last 18 months, they gave us a lesson in that in round one last year.
"We didn't defend particularly well in that game and that's continued to be a strength of theirs.
"Our ability to defend when we don't have the ball and make it difficult for them to move the ball is incredibly important in the outcome of this game."