Daniel Rich looks a little different today than he did when he was drafted.
Daniel Rich looks a little different today than he did when he was drafted.

Brisbane sole survivor’s 200-game milestone

HE'S the laidback surfer with the lethal left boot.

Ask his friends and family to describe Daniel Rich and some will talk of his endless positivity and love of a good prank.

Others delight in how good he is with kids, and a few will bemoan the ease in which he excels at everything he turns his hands to - he's the best golfer, tennis player and surfer at the Brisbane Lions.

Everyone will mention loyalty.

Rich is the sole surviving player from Brisbane's last final side of 2009 and the only man whose career began post the Leigh Matthews era to have reached 200 games for the club.

His wife Lauren Rich says that loyalty will be the main cause for celebration when he reaches his milestone against the Kangaroos at the Gabba on Saturday night.

"I think Dan has always been committed to the club despite the hard times, it was always something I admired in him,'' she said.

"The team is like family to him and he has always had the attitude of trying to do what is best for the team.''

Daniel Rich poses on the eve of his 200th game. Picture: AAP
Daniel Rich poses on the eve of his 200th game. Picture: AAP

Coach Chris Fagan recounted this week his first real chat with Rich, where he declared his belief he could take his game to a new level.

"It doesn't hurt to fill people with confidence that they have got their best to look forward to, and I honestly believe that with Daniel and it has sort of turned out that way,'' he said.

Lauren recalls that day too.

"I remember the day he came home after that chat and how it made him feel,'' she said.

"That was a turning point for him, he really wanted to live up to that.''

Then-Brisbane coach Michael Voss and Daniel Rich after the 2008 draft.
Then-Brisbane coach Michael Voss and Daniel Rich after the 2008 draft.

Rich was a baby-faced teen when he arrived in Brisbane via pick seven in the 2008 draft but is now an elder statesman with a family of his own.

Lauren says parenting is another skill he handles with ease.

"That comes so natural to Dan it is crazy,'' he said.

"Even before we had Xander he would be willing to carry around anybody's baby, he is just great with kids.''

Rich has an even-tempered personality that helped him cope through the lean years.

After finishing sixth in his debut year and winning the Rising Star award, the next best result was 12th in 2013.

Daniel and Lauren Rich with son Xander Rich, 2. Picture: AAP
Daniel and Lauren Rich with son Xander Rich, 2. Picture: AAP

The only time in a decade of interviewing him I can recall real animation from him was when talking about Lauren and two-year-old Xander.

"It (fatherhood) is the best thing in the world, no matter what is going on in your life they can put a smile on your face,'' he said.

"But my wife Lauren has been amazing as well. She is not a massive footy fan but she has been a rock for me over the years.

"I realise how lucky I am to do what I do and also what you do it for.''

Daniel Rich won the Rising Star Award in 2009.
Daniel Rich won the Rising Star Award in 2009.

However, Rich admits he is not always as calm as he appears.

"Obviously there has been times when I felt the ups and downs, there is no one out there that wouldn't,'' he said.

"I have a lot of passion but I know sometimes it doesn't show.

"But also I'm quite loyal and during the tough times when it may have been easier to jump ship, I didn't really consider it. I remember how they welcomed me in and looked after me over the years and I just love the club.''

News Corp Australia


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