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‘I didn’t get a phone call!’ Pies coach’s presser interception as GF rivals share funny moment


If Lachie Neale was to seek advice from any Lions premiership legends ahead of Saturday’s decider against Collingwood, don’t expect it to come through Craig McRae

Twenty years after he was a member of Brisbane’s dynasty sides under Leigh Matthews that won two of its three-peat of flags against the Magpies in 2002 and 2003, McRae is now at the forefront of the enemy camp as he looks to coach Collingwood to its first flag since 2010 against his former club.

And in a funny moment during Friday’s Grand Final parade press conference, Neale was asked by a reporter if he’d been in contact with any yesteryear Lions champions for advice on how to take down the Pies on the last Saturday in September.

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Before Neale could answer, McRae intercepted: “I didn’t get a phone call!’, as the two looked at each other and shared a laugh.

Neale, who earlier this week became just the 16th multiple Brownlow Medal winner, revealed “a couple” of ex-Lions had wished him good luck, but noted how long it’s been since the two clubs last played off for the premiership.

“I’ve had a couple reach out, but no tips, they obviously didn’t play against this group,” the Brisbane co-captain said.

“More well wishes and good lucks. Certainly no tips how to beat them, they played them 20 years ago. Nothing from them in terms of game plan and whatnot.”

McRae isn’t the only premiership Lion that’s swapped allegiances, with Justin Leppitsch also a key member of Collingwood’s coaching staff as a senior assistant.

And if the Pies are able to get one back on the Lions on Saturday, club legend Peter Moore will hand the cup to son and current skipper Darcy in a potential romantic narrative.

Meanwhile, if Brisbane salute — and arguably just as poetic — Matthews will award the trophy to Neale’s fellow co-captain Harris Andrews.

Despite Matthews’ association with the Lions — where he’s also a board member — the four-time premiership coach still gave a message of support to his former player-turned-Collingwood coach.

“Leigh sent me a text earlier in the week. I’m not sitting here without Leigh’s influence on me and the lessons he taught us all that were involved in that team,” McRae said.

“As Lachie said, 20 years ago is a long time and this is a new era. (But) That part of our history is something you’ll never forget.”

Matthews coached the Magpies to their drought-breaking 1990 flag before leading Brisbane to its three-peat from 2001 to 2003.



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