Zorko backs Merrett, Freeman to stand tall for Lions

DAYNE Zorko notably identified Collingwood Queenslander Dayne Beams as an ideal recruit for Brisbane last season.

He got his wish.

But he stopped short of throwing up names this year, despite speculation being rife that the Lions would make a play for Richmond defender Alex Rance and Gold Coast forward Charlie Dixon to help ease the burden on their young players at opposite ends of the ground.

"Whether it's the best thing going forward, I'm not too sure," he said. "That's for the recruiters."

Zorko admits "it would definitely help having that older head down there and take a little bit of pressure off while the young blokes are developing".

But experienced fullback Dan Merrett (hamstring) was expected to return soon, and his absence, Zorko said, has "hurt the most, with having such a young backline".

"I think when you have Daniel down there it kind of straightens us up a little bit," he said.

And while the lack of tall forwards has also been felt, Zorko said he would "persist with Jonathan Freeman" - the 198cm Noosa product who is recovering from an ankle injury - "if we can get games into him in the second half of the season and see how he can perform".

"It gives fans a lot of exctement coming to games and see what Jonathan can do.

"His development over the next few years is going to be great for the club," he said.

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