The appearance of Beams will add some theatre to a match that is expected to draw more than 30,000 on Good Friday eve, in what shapes as the biggest occasion at the Gabba for several years, if not since the Lions last played finals in 2009.
The Lions received two first-round selections – Collingwood’s 2018 and 2019 first picks – for Beams, who had two years to run on a heavily frontloaded contract when he was traded back to his first AFL club, where he retained close relationships with 2010 premiership teammate Steele Sidebottom and others at the Holden Centre.
Beams, 29, subsequently signed a new four-year deal with Collingwood that will see him contracted until the end of 2022. He had struggled with mental health battles during 2018, when he quit the captaincy and grieved over the death of his father from cancer, having what he described as a meltdown in the rooms before a game against Port Adelaide.
While the Magpies paid a high draft price for Beams, they still managed to land academy recruit Isaac Quaynor – subject of a first-round bid by the Giants – by using later draft choices, including picks handed back by the Lions.