Rory Atkins will make his debut for the Gold Coast SUNS in the Round 9 Toyota AFL Premiership Fixture against the Brisbane Lions in QClash20.

The SUNS have been forced into two changes this week, with Touk Miller receiving a one-week suspension and tough, pressure forward Nick Holman missing the game after suffering a concussion late in last week’s match against St Kilda.

As announced earlier this week, Malcolm Rosas Jnr will make his AFL Debut and has been named across the Half Forward line for his first game.

The livewire small forward has been rewarded after strong performances throughout the pre-season and across the first three rounds of the 2021 VFL Season.

Rosas Jnr was drafted to the Gold Coast SUNS as an academy selection prior to the 2019 NAB AFL Draft and said that this was the level he’d dreamt of reaching.

“It’s pretty exciting, absolutely stoked to be representing this club,” Rosas Jnr said.

After joining the club from the Adelaide Crows in the off-season, Atkins has earnt his spot in the team after playing three strong games in VFL.

Atkins arrived recovering from shoulder surgery in the off-season and then suffered a foot injury in the pre-season but has built himself back up nicely to finish the preseason.

His last hit out in the VFL saw him collect 20 disposals and kick two goals to be amongst the best against Collingwood, with Senior Coach Stuart Dew declaring the performance “very, very sharp”.

He’s already played 101 games for the Adelaide Crows, but the experienced midfielder/forward will be looking to make an instant impact for the SUNS being named to start at the first centre bounce in QClash20.

Chris Burgess and Caleb Graham have fought gallantly in recent week and will be asked to shoulder the majority of the ruck work again against the Lions.

Round 9 will see the SUNS not only celebrate the debuts of two players but also playing AFL Football at Metricon Stadium over the past 10 years.

Will Brodie, Brayden Fiorini, Darcy Macpherson and Alex Sexton have all been named as emergencies with one of them to be confirmed as the medical sub for the game.

The fixture against Brisbane at 4:35pm will be broadcast live on the Seven Network (check your local guide), FOX FOOTY, Kayo and the AFL Live Official App.

AFL Round 7 team:


46. Caleb Graham

25. Sam Collins

23. Sean Lemmens


17. Oleg Markov

10. Charlie Ballard

50. Jy Farrar


4. Brandon Ellis

1. Hugh Greenwood

27. Wil Powell


24. David Swallow

41. Malcolm Rosas Jnr

19. Josh Corbett


13. Jack Lukosius

34. Ben King

26. Sam Flanders


29. Chris Burgess

22. Izak Rankine

2. Rory Atkins


9. Ben Ainsworth

15. Noah Anderson

3. Jack Bowes


14. Lachie Weller




7. Will Brodie

8. Brayden Fiorini

44. Darcy Macpherson


6. Alex Sexton