Lincoln McDonnell challenged Brisbane Lion Cameron Rayner to a race, and he won.
Lincoln McDonnell challenged Brisbane Lion Cameron Rayner to a race, and he won.

Rayner out to show why he was worth the top pick in draft

AUSSIE RULES: Brisbane Lions forward Cameron Rayner can see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to showing what he can do in the AFL.

Rayner was in Bundaberg over the past two days for the community camp, which sees Lions players run clinics at schools and Auskick.

The Lions forward was the number one pick in the 2017 AFL draft and has played 46 games in that time, adjusting to life as a player.

He admits it's been tough, but rewarding as well.

"It's been an exciting first couple of years but there are a couple of things to learn out of it," Rayner said.

"There was a couple of form slumps and tactics that can help me in relation to that.

"It's been good and I'm excited to see what I can do this year going forward."

Rayner said the support he has had at the club and the help of Luke Hodge, who arrived at the Lions in 2018 and was a number one draft pick himself, has helped.

But the time has come to step up to another level, especially as Hodge retired at the end of last year after 346 games.

"It was good to have him there to bounce ideas off and see what he did, but it's important to go on your own pathway and go through the experiences yourself," Rayner said.

"It was important to have someone like Hodgey. I was pretty lucky to have him there."

Rayner said he would move on and create his own pathway through a different position this year.

The forward, who kicked 40 goals in the past two years, will move more into the centre of the ground, which he hopes adds another dimension to the game.

"There'll be a transition in the midfield, which is something I'm looking forward to," he said.

"That's come off the back of hard work over the pre-season, getting fitter and being at a nice weight."

Rayner said he was committed to the club in the long term and wanted to play for the Brisbane Lions as long as he can.

The Lions play their first match of the AFL season on March 22 against Hawthorn.


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