Star Demon battle excites Lions' Big O

Melbourne star Max Gawn considered one of the elite ruckmen in the AFL. (AAP)

Melbourne star Max Gawn is one of the elite ruckmen in the AFL, and emerging Brisbane tall Oscar McInerney can't wait to go toe-to-toe with him this Sunday.

By his own admission, facing Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn is a daunting task, but one that emerging Brisbane tall Oscar McInerney is relishing.

The 24-year-old's eyes light up when Gawn is mentioned ahead of Sunday's AFL clash between the Lions and the Demons at the Gabba.

"There's nothing better than trying to take on the best in the competition. It's so exciting," McInerney told AAP.

"He's one to look up to ... to be able to verse one of the better ruckmen in the competition, it's a great opportunity."

While Gawn is established as one of the biggest names in the game, McInerney has been quietly establishing his own reputation at senior level in 2019.

In his second year of AFL, the mature-age recruit has played 11 of 13 games as the Lions have put themselves firmly in the finals picture with an 8-5 record.

By contrast, the Demons are 16th on the ladder with just four wins to their name in a disappointing campaign after last year's preliminary final.

Despite their lowly status, McInerney says the Lions are wary of a Demons team which defeated Fremantle last weekend, and is ranked fifth in the AFL for contested possessions per match (143.9).

"They pride themselves on their contested ball and they've been really executing that this year," the 205cm McInerney said.

"It's a bit of a key area of the game which will determine the result."

A 56-point thumping of St Kilda hasn't stopped Lions coach Chris Fagan making changes to his line-up, with Jarrod Berry and Zac Bailey both coming in at the expense of Jacob Allison and Rhys Mathieson.

The Demons, who have won their past four clashes with the Lions, have made only one change to the side which knocked off the Dockers with Michael Hibberd replacing Josh Wagner.

Veteran Jordan Lewis is an emergency.

Source AAP

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