Rockliff backs Leppitsch to stay on

Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch has earned the right to coach on in 2017, according to captain Tom Rockliff.

But if the club is going to axe their AFL coach, the skipper has urged the Lions board to get on with it.

Leppitsch’s tenure will reportedly be terminated on Monday morning when chairman Bob Sharpless and deputy Leigh Matthews convene a board meeting to discuss his coaching future.

The premiership player turned coach fired a salvo after Sunday’s loss to St Kilda, suggesting the goalposts that he would be judged on had shifted in recent weeks.

Instead of growth and promoting young players, Leppitsch said he would now be judged on his win-loss record, which stands at 3-19, the worst return in the merged club’s 20-year history.

Rockliff said it was hard not to feel sorry for the embattled coach.

“Absolutely I feel for him,” he told AAP.

“The whole footy club has been under pressure all year and Leppa’s copped most of that.”

The 26-year-old said if the cord had to be cut,

“It’s out of our control and it’s one of those things that’s just going to play out,” he said.

“Ideally you’d prefer to know ASAP.

“But he’s obviously contracted so we as players are preparing for him to coach in 2017 and he deserves the opportunity.”

Rockliff dismissed long-running suggestions that he was at odds with senior management or Leppitsch after the club’s turgid season.

Instead, he said he was positive the Lions could rebound in 2017 with the right attitude over summer.

“You’ve got to be confident and you’ve seen our age demographic. We got a lot of games into young fellas this season,” he said.

“Hopefully we can get Dayne Beams having an injury free season and build on a bit of momentum.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the off-season, the pre-season to hit the ground running in 2017.”

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