Rockliff, who has been predicted by many to lose the captaincy under Fagan this year, has impressed with his attitude and leadership during pre-season training.
“I’ve got to say, in regards to Tom, a lot was said about him last year,” Fagan said on Tuesday.
“I wasn’t here at the club; I can only judge him on how I’ve found him since I’ve been here.
“He’s been fantastic around the group, he’s trained hard, he’s been a leader around the club and been very supportive of me in my first few months here.
“I just want to put that on the table.”
Fagan said Rockliff has responded brilliantly following frank and open discussions upon his appointment as coach.
“I just pointed out a few things I’d heard about him. It wasn’t my opinion of him — it was just what I’d heard,” he said.
“It was up to him to show me and the rest of the coaching group and his teammates what he was about this year.
“He’s been very, very good.”
The Lions are expected to name their leadership group in March.