As they prepare to host Carlton in their preliminary final this Saturday, a number of fringe Brisbane Lions will make their case to earn senior selection.

The Lions' reserves outfit, which had an opportunity to set up a Queensland VFL Grand Final against the Gold Coast Suns this weekend, fell to the Werribee Tigers, concluding their campaign as a result of the 30-point defeat.

For the Lions, who didn't partake in Brisbane's qualifying final trouncing of Port Adelaide two weekends ago, Saturday afternoon's VFL outing represented the last live-game opportunity to make a case to Chris Fagan and his selection committee for a place in the side to take on the Blues.

So, which Lions impressed on Saturday, and which could find themselves in the selection frame on Thursday?

Ruckman Darcy Fort will insert himself into the conversation, registering 28 hit-outs to go along with five clearances and a goal against Werribee.

The 30-year-old has played just seven senior games for the Lions this season after taking part in 18 games in his 2022 maiden Brisbane campaign after crossing over from Geelong.

Fagan opted for Oscar McInerney as the sole ruckman against Port Adelaide, as Ken Hinkley trotted out Scott Lycett to compete in the middle. Is it a different conversation this week, though, with Carlton near certain to roll out Marc Pittonet alongside athletic hybrid Tom de Koning?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Lachie Neale (left) and Darcy Fort of the Lions celebrate during the 2022 AFL Second Semi Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 9, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

'The Barometer', midfielder Rhys Mathieson, picked up 17 disposals to complement five tackles, four clearances, and one goal; putting in an impressive performance alongside fellow engine-roomers James Tunstill (18 disposals, four tackles, five clearances), Harry Sharp (18 possessions, three clearances), and Jarryd Lyons (11 disposals, three clearances).

Among that group, Lyons and Sharp shape as the likeliest potential inclusions if a midfielder or wingman-type is required in case of injury. However, if Brisbane maintains a clean bill of health in the days leading into Saturday, it will be hard to envisage any fringe on-baller breaking into the Lions' lineup on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Lyons has suffered a fall from grace as it pertains to selection preference, having played just eight games for Brisbane this season after lining up 22 times in 2022. He's been usurped by the likes of Josh Dunkley and Deven Robertson, who have solidified their positioning in Fagan's best side.

Jarryd Lyons during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Retiring defender Daniel Rich collected a respectable 20 disposals and three marks, while fellow back-half rebounder Darragh Joyce (17 disposals, five marks), who signed another Lions contract last week, was also frequently sighted.

Brisbane won't be altering its rock-solid defensive make-up for Saturday's clash, injury permitting. Conor McKenna's integration into the Lions' defence this season has added another formidable element to Fagan's feared brigade; teaming up with smooth left-footer Keidean Coleman and physical youngster Darcy Wilmot to form a lethally quick and efficient grouping.

Key backman Jack Payne, who has been a revelation for the Lions this year, is understood to be under somewhat of an injury cloud after sustaining a sprained ankle against Port.

Out-of-favour key defender Darcy Gardiner looms as Payne's replacement should the 23-year-old be unable to prove his fitness in time for Saturday's all-important fixture.

Jack Payne, Darcy Gardiner and Tim Membrey during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

The other main notable is hybrid forward Tom Fullarton (ten disposals, four marks), who poses as an intriguing ongoing key-position prospect who hasn't yet been able to break into Fagan's core group, and he won't be breaking in this week, either.

The 24-year-old, who played five of his 19 career games this year, is out of contract at season's end and may explore his movement options considering the sparse senior opportunity he's been afforded since his 2020 debut.

As key-position players hold considerable league-wide value, rival interest in the young Lion should be an expectation this October.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Tom Fullarton of the Lions is tackled by Jeremy Cameron of the Cats during the round four AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Brisbane Lions at GMHBA Stadium on April 08, 2022 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Considering Brisbane's dominant handling of the Power in week one, there's a strong likelihood that Fagan's Lions go into Saturday's bout at the Gabba unchanged unless a dreaded forced change surfaces. Payne's aforementioned injury watch is the main threat to an unchanged side at present.

A Fort inclusion poses the likeliest change to Brisbane's side if there are to be any unforced changes made by Fagan and Co, perhaps at the expense of one of Jaspa Fletcher or Callum Ah Chee.

Ultimately, it seems an unlikely scenario, though, as the Lions appear to have hit their straps at the most crucial time of the year and look to book their Grand Final ticket.