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Brisbane Lions , Chris Fagan , investigative drama , chase the flag , hugh mccluggage , hawthorn racism , report , premiership , historical allegations


Brisbane Lions halfback Hugh McCluggage hopes serious allegations of racism against coach Chris Fagan will not derail their premiership bid.

The AFL has launched an investigation stemming from Hawthorn’s internal review into the experience of First Nations players at the club, which the Hawks said in a statement found some “disturbing” allegations.

Fagan, who was Hawthorn’s head of football at the time, Alistair Clarkson and then player development manager Jason Burt were accused in an ABC article last week of complicity in several alleged incidents.

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They have denied wrongdoing, but Fagan and Clarkson, who will coach North Melbourne next season, have temporarily stood down.

Fagan resumed his Lions duties on Wednesday, while Clarkson will officially start his new job on Melbourne Cup day (Tuesday).

The league’s investigation is expected to be completed in December, and McCluggage said he and his teammates were “in the know.”

Hugh McCludge (R) hopes the Lions can handle the AFL investigation involving coach Chris Fagan. Photo: AAPSource: AAP

“The club has been very good to us. They’ve supported the Fages and our indigenous guys and there’s a constant connection between everyone, which has been really important,” McCluggage told News Corp.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how things develop, but I’ve seen the Fages a few times and everyone here is in good spirits.

“We’re all out at the club at the moment so I don’t know exactly how it’s going to go – nobody knows – but we’re a really close-knit group and we can only judge based on what we’ve seen so far and he’s been strange for us.

“I have no doubt that when all is done; group will be able to come together and give it another good crack (in 2023).”

Hugh McCluggage is one of Brisbane’s most important players. Photo: Nigel HallettSource: News Corp Australia

Brisbane have played in at least two finals in each of the last four seasons, including a second preliminary final in three years this September.

A 71-point belt from future premiers Geelong ended the Lions’ season on a low note, but a month later they traded for established stars Josh Dunkley and Jack Gunston.

They are also set to welcome father and son Will Ashcroft and Jasp Fletcher, both of whom could go in the first 15 picks of this year’s draft.

McCluggage is willing to sacrifice time in the midfield for the greater good of the team, despite a fourth straight top-three finish and back-to-back selections in the 40-man All-Australian squad.

“It’s very exciting. I caught up with the two boys coming in and they seem excited to be part of the club and can’t wait to get started,” McCluggage said.

Hugh McCluggage believes Jack Gunston and Josh Dunkley will be strong additions to the Lions’ list. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“Dunkley and Gunston and the young guys coming in as well will create a really fresh atmosphere at the club and teach us a few lessons, both the more experienced players and the older players from different clubs.

“We’ve felt like we’ve been close (to the flag) for two or three years, but we haven’t got there yet, and the competition is so tough … then you might not play for a few weeks, all of a sudden, you’ve lost a few games and you on the back leg.

“We’re very happy with who came in … but I think we also understand that it’s not going to happen just like that and we have to find ways to get better because close enough isn’t good enough in our eyes. »


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