Minor prize a major incentive for Lions

Lions ruckman Stefan Martin could return from a long-term back injury for the clash with Carlton.
Lions ruckman Stefan Martin could return from a long-term back injury for the clash with Carlton.

The lure of winning the first AFL minor premiership in Brisbane's history has convinced coach Chris Fagan to include ruckman Stefan Martin for Saturday's clash with Carlton.

Having secured a top-two finish, the Lions can achieve something not even their great triple premiership team could do with a win over the Blues.

Victory in Saturday's match at the Gabba and a Port Adelaide defeat against Collingwood on Monday would mean Brisbane finish top of the ladder in 2020.

Fagan isn't playing down what that achievement would mean for his team.

"If a club hasn't done it before it's a great thing to do," Fagan said.

"We're all about trying to achieve different milestones as we go along as a footy club so if we could do that we'd be excited to do so."

Martin, who has been sidelined since July with a stress fracture in his back, was recalled along with Lincoln McCarthy (corkie) and Brandon Starcevich (concussion)

Mitch Hinge and Archie Smith were dropped, while defender Noah Answerth has been rested.

Carlton made four changes, with three of those injury enforced.

Sam Docherty (calf), Will Setterfield (calf) and Zac Fisher (shoulder) were ruled out, while Lochie O'Brien was dropped.

Jack Martin, Marc Pittonet, Matt Kennedy and Cam Polson were all recalled.

Despite having a top-two finish wrapped up, Fagan isn't taking anything lightly against the 12th-placed Blues.

Having fallen out of last year's finals in straight sets, Fagan says going into the post-season with momentum will be important.

"We want to go into the finals in good form, that's really important to us," he said.

"We had a good chat about that just now and I didn't detect any players that won't have the same mindset as the coach.

"Last year Richmond beat us in this final game and, not that we played poorly that day, but you'd rather just go in with momentum if you can. It's not the be-all and end-all if you can't, but you'd rather go in with momentum."

Carlton will also have plenty of motivation for Saturday's game, which will be the 342nd and last of retiring Blues' legend Kade Simpson's AFL career.

Australian Associated Press