Lions star dreaming of puling on South Australian jumper
BRISBANE Lions midfielder Lachie Neale hopes one day before his career is over he can represent his state, South Australia.
But he's more than happy to do the next best thing, represent the All-Stars.
Neale is one of six South Australians playing for the combined line-up against the Victoria as State of Origin returns to raise funds for the devastating bushfires that happened around the country.
He is one of four Lions who wiill run out on Marvel Stadium tonight, alongside Charlie Cameron and Harris Andrews in the All-Stars team and Stef Martin for Victoria.
"It hasn't hit me yet, the enormity of it," he said in Bundaberg earlier this week.
"It will be really special to pull on the jumper alongside some of the competition stars.
"I'm really proud to be part of that game for a great cause."
But while the white of the All-Stars is a high honour, Neale does admit he wants to put the tri-colours on for the Croweaters one day.
Neale was born in Naracoorte, which is around 100 kilometres from Mount Gambier down the states coast.
"That would be awesome to represent South Australia at some point," he said.
"But I'm really excited by the opportunity to play with some of the games best from around Australia."
"I'm not too disappointed (about no State of Origin) but it would be nice to do that."
Neale will be part of a midfield that boasts Nat Fyfe, Stephen Coniglio and Patrick Cripps up against Patrick Dangerfield, Dustin Martin and Marcus Bontempelli.
Lions skipper Dayne Zorko is a late scratching ffrom the contest.
Zorko suffered a hamstring injury and Brisbane's medical team have taken a cautious approach with a five-day break in between the Lions' pre-season match against the Power and the charity match.
It's understood the Lions expect Zorko to be fit for Round One, or even the club's second pre-season match against Carlton on March 8.
He will also not play in the Lions' intra-club match on Saturday.