HAVING FUN: Justin Leppitsch shares a joke with Dustin Martin.
HAVING FUN: Justin Leppitsch shares a joke with Dustin Martin. Michael Dodge

Leppitsch lives Tiger dream after Lions nightmare

JUSTIN Leppitsch is living a dream.

The former Brisbane Lions coach left Richmond at the end of the 2013 season to take up the Lions role, returning to Punt Rd for this season.

And he admits pinching himself has almost become second nature.

"It's funny - for me it's like I've woken up and said, 'I've had this weird dream, last night - you wouldn't believe it'," Leppitsch said.

"Everything happens - good, bad the whole lot. A horse walks in ... all this strange stuff happens. And you walk away just going, 'How did I go from last year to this year?'.

"A lot of emotion has gone into the last 12 months for me - good and bad. It's a hard one to even sort of quantify to be honest. I'm just thankful. Any week if you get to Grand Final week, you're very thankful and I'm just so happy Damien (Hardwick) asked me to come back last year and be part of this. It's awesome."

Leppitsch was sacked by Brisbane at the end of last season, despite having been granted a one-year extension on his contract.

But now he's in yellow and black and preparing the Tigers for Saturday's Grand Final.

"You never want to leave a job, you never want to get booted from a job - no one wants that," he said.

"But I think at the end of the day, I've enjoyed every moment of it. How can you complain when you're sitting here right now and you get to play in the biggest game of the year?"

Richmond had a light session at Punt Rd this morning with the team's selection panel set to meet at 2pm.

Leppitsch isn't forecasting any changes to the team that defeated GWS.

"We just have to decide if we're going to make any forced changes - if someone pulls up sore from training or something like that," he said.

"At this point, I don't think there'll be a lot of change but we still have to battle it out at 2 o'clock."

There are some sore bodies in the team's midst, but Leppitsch said there is "nothing that's going to be really worrying for this week's game".

The former Lions star - who was part of Brisbane's three-peat of premierships - has been a valuable source of intel for Richmond as it embarks on its first Grand Final in 35 years.

"Most of it's about distractions and the things on the outside that go on that are different for the week," he said.

"Every part of the game gets dissected by everybody. It's just to know that that goes on and to accept it but at the moment it's just all about the game.

"You find about 50 new mates (wanting tickets) in Grand Final week."

News Corp Australia


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