Would a Victorian All Stars team work?
The National Rugby League has made a concerted effort in recent times to bring big time rugby league to Melbourne. State of Origin and international footy have been annual events in the southern capital for quite some time, but there is nothing like Victorians barracking for Victorians, no matter what the sport.
The annual All Stars clash on the Gold Coast between the NRL and the Indigenous has been the season opener since its commencement in 2010 and has been a massive success.
Let’s take things a step further and have a second game in Melbourne on the same night. Victorian All Stars against Pacific Islands All Stars.
If you think there isn’t enough talent in Victoria, think again.
Altona junior and Cronulla Sharks backrower Jeremy Smith could captain the side in this historic clash at AAMI Park, while Victorian-born Brisbane Bronco Peter Wallace would wear the number 7 jumper.
Partnering Wallace in the halves would be Melbourne Storm junior, Gareth Widdop.
Leading the forward pack with Smith would be Canterbury prop and Storm junior, Aiden Tolman.
What about the power and size in the centres with Timana Tahu and monster Storm rookie, Mahe Fonua? At 185 centre metres and 103 kilograms, Fonua made the 2011 Toyota Cup Team of the Year and has been a regular in Victorian representative sides.
And just like Steve Price took up an invitation from New Zealand on the 2007 All Golds Tour, Victorian favourite Billy Slater could wear the Big V.
This is all a stretch, but why not as a one off? It’s a chance for Victorians to get behind a top flight Victorian rugby league side taking on some of the best players in the world.
Victorian All Stars
1 Billy Slater
2 Matt Duffie
3 Timana Tahu
4 Mahe Fonua
5 Justin O’Neill
6 Gareth Widdop
7 Peter Wallace
13 Jeremy Smith ©
12 Kevin Proctor
11 Robbie Rochow
10 Rhys Kennedy
9 Jay Lobwein
8 Aiden Tolman
14 Matt McGahan
15 Damian Sironen
16 Karl Davies
17 Dean Britt
18 Drury Low