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Could this South Australian side get revenge over their bordering rivals?

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Roar Rookie
25th June, 2022
7

After outlining my AFL State of Origin selection criteria, as well as the Vic Metro and Vic Country teams, in previous articles, South Australia are the next cab off the rank.

While the side is strong up the ground, their forward line ranks among the worst out of the six teams. With no decorated keynote target up forward, expect South Australia to be a defensively-orientated side.

Note: Brodie Grundy would replace Sam Draper when he’s deemed fit to play.

Defence

Charlie Ballard
Leading the league for intercept marks, the Suns defender has been immense in their push for a maiden finals berth.

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Harrison Petty
A key part in the Dees’ premiership side last year, Petty has established himself quickly as a mainstay in Melbourne’s defence. Putting up career-high numbers, the defender would need to bring that opposing the best key forwards in the league.

Callum Wilkie
This underrated Saints defender has been prolific this season. Arguably one of the best lockdown defenders in the competition, Wilkie is eyeing off his first All Australian jacket.

Brayden Maynard
Maynard’s grit and endeavour has been valuable in the Pies defence for several years, something that South Australia could do with. Ranked third best in defensive contests, the Collingwood hard nut would complement his state team nicely.

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Tom Jonas (captain)
Claiming the captain’s armband in this South Australian side, Jonas has led from the front at Port Adelaide since 2019. Playing at centre half back, Jonas will need to assume more responsibility playing in an undersized back line.

Caleb Daniel
Considered one of the best field kicks in the competition, Daniel would have the ability to launch South Australia into attack. Going as efficiently as ever with ball in hand, the Bulldogs small was a shoo-in for selection.

Followers

Sam Draper
Draper has been an important member of the Bombers’ line-up for a few years now. Highly regarded for his athleticism, the big man is a handy replacement for Brodie Grundy.

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Lachie Neale
The 2020 Brownlow Medallist is arguably having a career-best season. Second for total disposals in 2022, the Lions midfielder could just about have Charlie around his neck for the second time.

Lachie Neale of the Lions handpasses the ball.

(Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

George Hewett
The Blues have found a gem in Hewett. Moving from Sydney in the off-season, Hewett has been a staple in the Carlton side. Averaging the most centre clearances a game, his contested work could lead the Blues to their first finals campaign in nine years.

Midfield

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Jordan Dawson
Making the switch to Adelaide, Dawson hasn’t missed a beat. Racking up 25 disposals and eight marks a game, the left footer would be a great addition to the team.

Rory Laird
Second for average disposals this season, the Crows on-baller has relished in his move to the midfield in the last 18 months. The dual All Australian would have a lot of opportunity to stand out in this side.

Shane Edwards
The Richmond veteran helps to round out a relatively young side. Averaging 14 disposals for the year, Edwards continues to prove that he is a consistent campaigner.

Forward

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Zac Bailey
Bailey is having a breakout season. An All Australian selection could be on the cards. With 27 goals for the year, Bailey has been instrumental for the Lions.

Tim O’Brien
The Dogs swingman would have to play in the forward line once again for South Australia due to their lack of height down there.

Chad Wingard
Providing experience in this forward line, the dual All Australian would be a regular target. Averaging 12 disposals and almost two goals a game, Wingard could have a big impact on Origin games.

Chad Wingard

(Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Lincoln McCarthy
Pivotal for the Lions this season, McCarthy knows where the goals are. With another 21 to add to the tally in 2022, the goal sneak would be a go-to for South Australia.

Callum Coleman-Jones
Starved of opportunity at North Melbourne, Coleman-Jones will feel at home in the South Australian forward line. If the key forward returns to the form he displayed last year, then he will be a force for his home state.

Beau McCreery
The pressure small forward would play a significant role in this team. With a lack of bona fide small forwards, McCreery provides much-needed structure in a defensive-minded side.

Interchange

John Noble
An unsung hero of the competition, the dashing Magpies defender has been a mainstay in the Collingwood side this year. The work horse does the team-lifting things that would be appreciated immensely by South Australians.

Ryan Burton
Having his best season in the AFL, Burton is flying under the radar. Leading the Power for rebound 50s and effective kicks, the ex-Hawk is making himself known in the Port Adelaide defensive unit.

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Jack Graham
Touted as the future Richmond captain, Graham could also become the future South Australian skipper. Leading the Tigers in tackles for the season, the big-bodied midfielder has been illustrious for the yellow and black.

Will Hayward
With 18 goals so far in 2022, Hayward provides that spark off the bench South Australians would be craving. At just 23 years of age, the Swans forward could become a reoccurrence in the state team.

Coach

Simon Goodwin
Goodwin has revolutionised Melbourne into a juggernaut. The 2021 coach of the year took the Dees to a preliminary final in just his second season, before breaking the club’s 57-year premiership drought last year.

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