Star forward Joe Daniher has pulled out of Brisbane’s team to face Melbourne in a hammer blow to the Lions’ hopes of winning their sudden-death semi-final.

Daniher, who kicked the winning goal in last week’s elimination final over Richmond, withdrew on Friday morning for family reasons, hours before the game at the MCG.

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The star Lion has booted 39 goals in 18 AFL games this season, including three against the Tigers and had shaped as a key to Brisbane’s hopes of progressing.

He has been replaced in the Lions’ 22 by fellow tall Tom Fullarton.

“Daniher has been removed from the 22 for the clash at the MCG due to family reasons,” the Lions said in a statement.

“The club supports Joe’s decision to be with his family at this time and respects their privacy.”

Brisbane had already lost ruckman Oscar McInerney to concussion and were forced to recall Darcy Fort.

The Lions will welcome back Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth from suspension while last week’s substitute Callum Ah Chee has been elevated to their line-up.

Mitch Robinson, Jaxon Prior and Rhys Mathieson were dropped.

Brisbane are attempting to pull off a massive turnaround in results against the Demons, having lost to Melbourne by 64 in round 15 and 58 in round 23.

The winner of Friday night’s match will progress to a preliminary final against Geelong at the MCG next week..

James and Tania Hird scammed inordinate amount of money.

James and Tania Hird scammed inordinate amount of money.