Dayne Zorko looks on during a Brisbane training session at the Gabba on August 30, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan says captain Dayne Zorko should be ready for Richmond to come after him physically in Thursday night's elimination final at the Gabba.

On the eve of the sold-out match, Fagan launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire skipper, saying Zorko had apologised for a round 23 sledge of Melbourne's Harrison Petty and that he should be recognised as one of the greatest leaders in Lions history.

Fagan said it was "Richmond's call" whether it went after Zorko verbally, but said his skipper should be ready for some physicality.

"I think he's probably readying himself for that, I would be if I was in his shoes," Fagan said.

Dayne Zorko and James Harmes exchange words during the Brisbane v Melbourne clash at The Gabba on August 19, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"So would anybody else."

After a couple of days away from the club last week, Zorko has returned and is in a good head space.

Fagan said it had been a "traumatic" time for Zorko and was quick to remind everyone of the impact he has made since taking over the captaincy from Dayne Beams in 2018.

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"He's been a super leader in that period of time and has helped take that group of boys from a team that didn't have a lot of self-belief to a team that has a fair bit of self-belief," he said.

"I think we should celebrate Dayne Zorko for the footballer and leader he's been at our footy club.

"Behind Michael Voss he's probably been the most successful leader in terms of wins as captain and he's done a mighty job at a time when our club was at a really low ebb."

Dayne Zorko leads his team out ahead of the R20 clash between Brisbane and Hawthorn at UTAS Stadium on August 1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Fagan was giving away no hints who would replace suspended duo Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth ahead of the teams being announced on Wednesday night.

Entering his fourth straight finals campaign, Fagan said he's tired of talking about the club's one-and-five record under his watch.

"They're not stupid, the players, they know the record, but to be honest I'm sort of sick of it," he said.


"Someone should be celebrating this team's made four finals series in a row, that's a pretty good effort.

"And as I've said 1000 times, the only way we can answer those questions is to go out and play well and win.

"If we win, people stop talking about, if we lose it'll be one win and six losses. 

"We know the score, players are aware, but we don't talk about it."