Prolific Adelaide defender Rory Laird is in line for his second All Australian selection after another strong year in which he was ranked sixth in the AFL for disposals.
Port are represented by skillful midfielder/forward Robbie Gray, a chance for his fourth All Australian selection, and rugged defender Tom Jonas. Speedy wingman Jared Polec, widely tipped to be leaving the club, was a surprise omission.
Last year, three Crows made the final team, with Laird joined by Matt Crouch and Eddie Betts. Across town in 2017, All Australian honours went to Gray and ruckman Paddy Ryder.
The 40-man squad announced today includes eight Richmond players: Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt, Alex Rance, Trent Cotchin, Josh Caddy, Dylan Grimes, Shane Edwards and Kane Lambert.
Gold Coast and St Kilda are the only clubs without a player nominated for the All Australian team.
Collingwood, Geelong and West Coast have four players each.
Magpies captain Scott Pendlebury is joined by teammates Jordan De Goey, Brodie Grundy and Steele Sidebottom, who all could win All Australian honours for the first time.
Geelong’s Mark Blicavs, Paddy Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins and Tom Stewart join West Coast’s Andrew Gaff, Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern and Elliott Yeo in the squad.
Some notable players overlooked for the squad include Geelong captain Joel Selwood, Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe, Port Adelaide’s Jared Polec and Hawthorn backman Ben Stratton.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson believes Stratton deserved inclusion.
“He’s been a tad stiff for 10 years,” Clarkson told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
“This has been the first (season) that anyone has given him any credit for what he’s done but he doesn’t need the credit from outside the walls of our footy club.
“He’s the most highly rated inside the walls for what he does for us.”
The final 22 players will be named later this week.
The 40-man squad by club:
Adelaide: Rory Laird; Brisbane: Harris Andrews, Dayne Beams; Carlton: Patrick Cripps; Collingwood: Jordan De Goey, Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom; Essendon: Devon Smith; Fremantle: Lachie Neale; Geelong: Mark Blicavs, Paddy Dangerfield, Tom Hawkins, Tom Stewart; GWS: Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield; Hawthorn: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Tom Mitchell; Melbourne: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver; North Melbourne: Ben Brown, Shaun Higgins; Port Adelaide: Robbie Gray, Tom Jonas; Richmond: Josh Caddy, Trent Cotchin, Shane Edwards, Dylan Grimes, Kane Lambert, Dustin Martin, Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt; Sydney: Lance Franklin, Jake Lloyd; West Coast: Andrew Gaff, Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern, Elliott Yeo; Western Bulldogs: Jack Macrae.
– with AAP
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