A serious knee injury has not stopped the Brisbane Lions from signing Pearce Hanley’s younger brother Cian.

A serious knee injury has not stopped the Brisbane Lions adding Irish import Pearce Hanley’s brother Cian to their playing list as an international rookie.

Cian Hanley, 18, broke down captaining Gaelic football side County Mayo’s All-Ireland minor semi-final loss last month.

However, the Lions said his raw potential made it an easy decision to sign him and nurture the youngster back to full fitness after he arrives in Brisbane later this year.

“It’s tough adjusting to a new game and a different shaped ball, but we are confident that, with a lot of hard work and a few helpful tips from his older brother, Cian can develop into a really exciting player for us,” Lions football manager Dean Warren said.

“Obviously suffering an ACL injury was hugely disappointing for Cian, but from our perspective it didn’t change much.

“We were always taking a long term view with Cian and it now provides him with some time to settle in and study our game.”

Cian Hanley caught the eye of Lions recruiting manager Steve Conole earlier this year when he visited Ireland to meet with his family.

Older brother Pearce, 25, has been with the Lions for seven years and is contracted for another four seasons.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and something I’ve thought about for a while, hoping to follow in my brother’s footsteps,” Cian Hanley said.

“Both my older brothers played with Ireland in the International Rules series so I had an interest in the game from that.

“Once Pearce was out there, we watched as much AFL as we could.

“The family subscribe to watch the AFL games, so we watch as many of Pearce’s games live as we can.

“(And) I’ve been practising a good bit with the (AFL) ball, Pearce left one or two at home so every now and again I would practice the odd bounce.”