Veteran Lion Jack Gunston will return to Waverley Park as part of a deal between Brisbane and Hawthorn that has also seen Brandon Ryan swap clubs.

The three-time premiership player struggled to break into Chris Fagan's side throughout the season due to form inconsistencies and injury. Gunston would also miss the 2023 Grand Final despite being the most experienced September player on the Lions' roster.

The return to Hawthorn will mean he will play a similar role at the Lions as a mentor for the young side as an 'on-field coach', having chemistry with current Hawks coach Sam Mitchell.

In the same deal, Ryan will depart Hawthorn just months on from joining the club via the Mid-Season Draft, with several selections also included in the deal.

According to, Hawthorn have picked up Gunston, Picks 47 and 61, and a future second-round pick tied to the Lions for Ryan, Picks 39 and 54 and a future fourth-round selection.

The loss of Tom Fullarton for the Lions has also become the motive to add Ryan to the roster with a similar build of 200cm and 91kg. The Lions also met with Ryan on Tuesday, offering better security in the team in comparison to Hawthorn.

Ryan kicked four goals over his three games in the brown and gold, including three goals in the Round 21 upset win over Collingwood. He also averaged six disposals and 3.3 marks per game.

Gunston has played for three clubs, totalling 242 games, 17 of which came in Brisbane. He kicked 22 goals this season to reach 452 career goals. He averages 14.6 disposals, 5.5 marks, and 56.1% goal accuracy.

The deal between the Lions and Hawks is expected to unlock the latter's move for Gold Coast's Mabior Chol.