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Rockliff's stocks sink lower at Lions after Twitter storm

Football

Maligned Lions skipper Tom Rockliff has further strained relations with his club, forced to apologise for a lewd tweet which he admits disrespected women.

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Rockliff – who has been linked to a move to the Crows, but whose manager yesterday suggested would more likely remain in Brisbane – engaged in public banter on the social media site the day after the Grand Final, including a tweet in which he rated a woman a “three out of ten”.

rockliff

He yesterday took to twitter to apologise for the now-deleted missive.

But the latest indiscretion has outraged club officials, CEO Greg Swann telling Sports Today: “It’s just not on from our point of view.”

“Especially with everything that’s happening with all the discussions,” he said.

“He’s been in the limelight a bit, it just wasn’t very clever.”

The latest furore took the sheen off some good news for the struggling Lions, with the AFL yesterday handing Brisbane a lifeline in the form of a priority pick in this year’s draft.

The Lions will receive a selection immediately after the first round – currently pick No.19 – under the league’s special assistance rules.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans and general counsel Andrew Dillon recommended the Lions should receive the priority selection after finishing 17th last season, their third-straight finish in the bottom four.

It means the Lions will go into Monday’s trade period with picks 2, 19, 20 and 28 at their disposal, in addition to later selections.

Swann said the Lions would be willing to put the No.2 pick on the table for the right deal.

The Lions are looking to rebuild their lacklustre list following a season which has culminated in the sacking of coach Justin Leppitsch, who has been replaced by former Hawthorn football boss Chris Fagan.

“It’s definitely on the table and, if it helps get us something we think is going to make us better, then we’ll look to do that,” Swann told SEN radio.

“Our preference is we want to go to the draft and keep building from underneath. That’s the thing for us. We think the last couple of years, we’ve brought in some really good young talented players.

“We still need some experienced players to make us competitive … and there might be one or two others that we’ll have a look as the trade period unfolds.”

Essendon hold the No.1 pick in this year’s draft but have signalled they won’t trade the selection.

Brisbane, who have also appointed a new football boss in former Adelaide supremo David Noble, have declared they are willing to deal senior players in exchange for first-round draft picks, with the future of Rockliff and fellow midfielder Pearce Hanley under consideration.

Hanley has met Gold Coast and will be traded if an appropriate deal can be struck, Swann said.

“We’ve had two pretty poor years and so you’ve got to make changes to your list,” he said.

“I think that’s just a given. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be all of the experienced players but we have to get better.”

Collingwood backman Jack Frost on Wednesday nominated the Lions as his new home after falling out of favour with the Magpies.

Meanwhile, sacked Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch will return to Richmond and work again under Damien Hardwick as one of his assistants.

The Tigers last night confirmed speculation that Leppitsch would be back at Punt Rd as part of their revamped coaching line-up.

The three-time Brisbane premiership defender was an assistant coach from 2009-13 before he took the Lions’ senior role.

“Justin obviously knows Damien and our staff very well, and the knowledge and experience he’s gained in his senior coaching role over the last three years will be really beneficial to our football program,” said new Tigers football manager Neil Balme.

“Justin has maintained great relationships with our staff and players in recent years and I understand he played a key role in the development of our backline players in his previous time at the club.”

-with AAP

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