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Lions' Rayner ready to push AFL limits

Brisbane's Cameron Rayner learnt what he was capable of in the AFL last year and says that should help him reach a higher, more consistent level in 2019.

Lions' Rayner ready to push AFL limits

Brisbane's Cameron Rayner learnt what he was capable of in the AFL last year and says that should help him reach a higher, more consistent level in 2019.

CAMERON RAYNER of the Lions poses during the 2017 AFL Draft at Sydney Showgrounds in Sydney, Australia.
CAMERON RAYNER of the Lions poses during the 2017 AFL Draft at Sydney Showgrounds in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

After testing the waters in his debut AFL season, Brisbane's Cameron Rayner knows just how far he can push in 2019.

That's his ominous self-appraisal as he hands over the No.1 draft pick sash to Sam Walsh and eyes bigger things for the emerging Lions.


Rayner made an immediate impact for Chris Fagan in his rookie year, crashing packs and kicking goals on the run with performances that defied his 18-year-old body.

But at the Lions' season launch on Tuesday night the teenager admitted it all felt like a strange experiment.

"I was dipping my feet in the water a little bit to see what I could and couldn't do," he told AAP.

"It takes some time to build up confidence in professional sport because you go from being that 18 year old that can do whatever you want, to coming up against adults.

"It's something I've spoken to Fages about ... it was quite strange."

Rayner said he had enjoyed the shifting of the spotlight after having his turn as the No.1 draft pick, while Fremantle recruit Lachie Neale had also diverted attention away from the kid from Melbourne's northwest.

Fagan will likely used Rayner as an attacking midfielder this season as the much-hyped Lions aim to improve on a campaign that yielded more promise than their five wins suggests.

There was an air of optimism at Tuesday's packed season launch after Brisbane kicked seven first-quarter goals in a 16.8 (104) to 15.7 (97) preseason defeat of Melbourne on Saturday.

Things just clicked for the Lions on that occasion but Rayner knows that sort of football can't be a one-off if they are to challenge for the top eight.

"You can't read too much into that win but it's getting exciting (ahead of the opening round) and it's just consistency now for us," he said.

"For me now, I've tested the waters but I go into my second year knowing what I'm capable of and have that benchmark now and don't want to be up and down in games all season."

AAP


AAP




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