Victoria, All Stars name State of Origin squads
FOUR Brownlow Medallists will feature in the State of Origin clash between Victoria and the All Stars.
Victoria coach Damien Hardwick and All Stars coach John Longmire have named 27-man teams for next Friday's bushfire relief clash at Marvel Stadium, with Brownlow Medal winners Dustin Martin, Patrick Dangerfield, Trent Cotchin (all Victoria) and Nat Fyfe (All Stars) among those picked.
Reigning premiers Richmond and grand finalists Greater Western Sydney have the most players selected in the squads with six each, while Collingwood and Brisbane each have five players named.
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Carlton, Essendon, Gold Coast and Melbourne have only one player picked.
The squads will train together next Thursday.
Co-captain Patrick Cripps (All Stars) is the only Blue to be picked in either squad.
"The best thing about Australians and the best thing about this game, which is why I really wanted to play, is everyone rallies together and it's going to a good cause," Cripps said.
"I can't imagine what some of the people are going through, but we'll try our best to raise money and give back."
Star Giant Josh Kelly is among the swag of GWS players to be selected and has a very personal reason for putting his hand up to play after he and his girlfriend were forced to sleep in their car because of a bushfire while they holidayed about three hours south of Sydney.
"We got stuck overnight, slept in the car because there was a bushfire passing through, it was pretty scary," he said.
Kelly's GWS teammate and Victoria squad member Jeremy Cameron also has a personal connection, revealing members of his family and friends had been involved in the fire fight.
"My brother and father had fought the fires and I've got a lot of close friends who were doing the same thing," Cameron said.
"I haven't seen it first hand yet, but there is so much devastation throughout the communities.
"It's going to be awesome to pull on the boots for a good cause and try to help out where we can."
Big V midfielder Shaun Higgins says he will not be cruising around in the match and believes his teammates will be determined to do Victoria proud.
While there have been some suggestions players will have Round 1 preparations in the back of their mind when they line up in the match, Higgins said he doubted that would be the case.
"I'm sure when the ball is bounced that really won't come into the mindset of the players," Higgins said.
"They'll want to put their best foot forward. You're representing both the football club and your state and many people who have been effected over the past few months. So I'm sure it will be a tough game and hopefully one that's a great spectacle to watch."
Todd Goldstein said it would be a huge honour to represent his state and he too was determined to put on a show.
"Any time you get the opportunity to pull on the Big V you understand the history that comes with that and the players and performances that have gone before us and you definitely want to live up to that," Goldstein said.
All proceeds raised from the double header - the State of Origin game and the AFLW clash between Collingwood and Melbourne - will go to support local football clubs and communities in fire affected areas.
Each AFL club had to have at least one player picked across the two sides.
Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
Tom Lynch (Richmond)
Shaun Higgins (North Melbourne)
Jeremy Cameron (GWS)
Toby Greene (GWS)
Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)
Josh Kelly (GWS)
Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
Bachar Houli (Richmond)
Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
Nick Haynes (GWS)
James Sicily (Hawthorn)
Mark Blicavs (Geelong)
Adam Saad (Essendon)
Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne)
Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
Trent Cotchin (Richmond)
Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs)
Tom Papley (Sydney)
Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
Jake Lloyd (Sydney)
Jade Gresham (St Kilda)
Stefan Martin (Brisbane)
Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
Harris Andrews (Brisbane)
Jason Johannisen (Western Bulldogs)
Jeremy Howe (Collingwood)
Brad Sheppard (West Coast)
Brodie Smith (Adelaide)
Isaac Smith (Hawthorn)
Bradley Hill (St Kilda)
Shane Edwards (Richmond)
Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
Luke Breust (Hawthorn)
Charlie Cameron (Brisbane)
Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
Michael Walters (Fremantle)
Brodie Grundy (Collingwood)
Elliot Yeo (West Coast)
Dayne Zorko (Brisbane)
Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
Stephen Coniglio (GWS)
Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
Neville Jetta (Melbourne)
Zach Tuohy (Geelong)
Taylor Walker (Adelaide)
Callum Mills (Sydney)
Lachie Weller (Gold Coast)
Scott Lycett (Port Adelaide)
Rory Laird (Adelaide)