Fagan set for milestone, Noble AFL reunion

Ex-colleagues David Noble (l) and Chris Fagan (r) clash when North Melbourne play Brisbane in AFL.
Ex-colleagues David Noble (l) and Chris Fagan (r) clash when North Melbourne play Brisbane in AFL.

David Noble's AFL reunion with Chris Fagan wasn't meant to come in Tasmania, but it's one quirk of the season the North Melbourne and Brisbane coaches will happily embrace.

The Tasmanian pair, with Fagan as coach and Noble as football boss, turned Brisbane from cellar dwellars to a top-four outfit before the latter joined the Kangaroos as coach in 2020.

Saturday's game between their teams was originally scheduled at Marvel Stadium but recently relocated to Blundstone Arena, which coincidentally allows Fagan to celebrate his 100th game as Lions mentor in front of family and friends.

"There's been lots of people that have helped me over the years from Tassie so it's actually nice that I'm getting that milestone here and it's especially good for my family," Fagan said.

"Mum just lives along the road, so it's something she didn't expect to be able to do but she can come to the game tomorrow and feel a part of it."

The game is Fagan and Noble's first against each other at the top level.

"Fages and I have had a long coaching history - from TAC Cup to AFL reserves and now at AFL senior level," Noble said.

"So it's great ... for two Tasmanians with a north-south rivalry to be able to go back home and coach against each other

"(It's) his 100th game, he's done a fantastic job up there with Brissie. So really looking forward to the game back home.

"... By the time we get through our coaching cycles and careers, we'll probably reflect back on this as a fairly poignant time for both of us."

Last-placed North Melbourne are coming off a draw with GWS at the same ground and Fagan was wary of what Noble's charges could throw at the Lions.

"They've got a great record at this ground - they've won seven of their last 11 here and had a draw," Fagan said.

"So they know how to play the ground, they've got good experience here and what I've noticed about their team is they're getting better as the year goes by

"... We know we've got a big challenge on our hands tomorrow."

The Kangaroos have regained reigning best and fairest winner Luke McDonald from injury while Brisbane are without Dayne Zorko (suspension) and Ryan Lester (hamstring) but have recalled James Madden.

Australian Associated Press