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All Australian: Five Swans in 2016's best 22

Nathan Schmook  September 1, 2016 10:39 PM

Did they get the AA team right? Our AFL.com.au experts give their verdict on the 2016 All Australian team

• The 2016 All Australian Awards as they happened 
• Who's in the club? Click here to find every All Australian player

GEELONG skipper Joel Selwood has been named captain of the 2016 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team in a line-up that includes nine debutants.  

Fremantle ball-magnet Lachie Neale – the AFL's leading possession winner in 2016 – was one of several unlucky omissions, with North Melbourne key defender Robbie Tarrant also missing out.

Selwood and superstar teammate Patrick Dangerfield were named alongside each other on-ball after a brilliant season as a midfield double-act.

I can't wait for Brownlow, says nerveless Dangerfield 

It was Selwood's fifth selection in an All Australian team and the third time he has been named captain after earning the honour in 2013 and 2014. Only Wayne Carey (four times) has been named skipper more times.

It was an honour he said he would fully appreciate and hold dear when reflecting on his career.

"Maybe one day when I finish up and look back over the names, and probably still see a few of these guys running around," he said. 

"Especially the young ones, and maybe still 'Bud' (Lance Franklin) the way that contract's going.

"It's a very special honour. It's hard to put into words, but one that I'll cherish not only now but later on in life too."

Geelong's three 2016 All Australians (l-r) Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Corey Enright and partners. Picture: AFL Photos

Minor premiers the Sydney Swans dominate the 22, with five players selected, including first-time defender Dane Rampe and midfielder Luke Parker, who was selected on the bench.

Onballers Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery are named on the centreline, while superstar Lance Franklin is named at centre half-forward.

Franklin's selection capped off a 12-month period that started on the eve of last year's finals series when he withdrew from playing to seek treatment for depression.

"I had to make a decision with my life 12 months ago and it's something I needed to do for myself," Franklin said.

"I'm really pleased that I did that and to come out of it the other side ... really, really happy.

"I was fortunate enough to have that support around me to help me through the tough times, and footy has been a major factor in me being in a good place."

Geelong and Adelaide each had three players named, with veteran Cat defender Corey Enright named at half-back. It is his sixth All Australian selection.

Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane was selected in the team of the year for the first time on a wing and also named vice-captain. Defender Daniel Talia and star forward Eddie Betts earned their second selections.

Crow Rory Sloane was named vice-captain after earning his first All Australian jacket. Picture: AFL Photos

In total 10 teams were represented, with Richmond, West Coast, Greater Western Sydney and the Western Bulldogs all with two players in the team announced at Melbourne's Exhibition Centre.

Dominant Melbourne big man Max Gawn was the only ruck named in the 40-man squad, guaranteeing him selection in the final 22 for the first time after a superb season.

Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy is named at full forward for the second straight season after kicking 80 goals, while Gold Coast forward Tom Lynch (66 goals) was named in a pocket.

Hawthorn's Norm Smith medallist Cyril Rioli was named in his third All Australian team at half-forward, with Greater Western Sydney debutant Toby Greene on the opposite flank.

The 2016 All Australian half-forward line (l-r): Toby Greene, Lance Franklin and Cyril Rioli. Picture: AFL Photos

West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern was also selected for the first time in a backline that includes Richmond star Alex Rance for the third consecutive season.

Rance, widely acclaimed as the game's standout key defender this year, has been named at full-back, with McGovern in a pocket as the third tall defender.

Greater Western Sydney defender Heath Shaw is named at half-back in his second team-of-the-year nomination, having led the AFL for rebound 50s (172) and average metres gained (562m a game).   

Third-time All Australian Matthew Boyd was named on the interchange alongside Western Bulldogs teammate Marcus Bontempelli, Richmond star Dustin Martin and Parker, who were all selected for the first time.

The class of 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

Overlooked in the backline were Carlton pair Kade Simpson and Sam Docherty, Adelaide's Rory Laird, and Port Adelaide's Jasper Pittard.

St Kilda midfielder Jack Steven missed out on what would have been his first All Australian selection, as did West Coast's Luke Shuey and Collingwood midfielder Adam Treloar.

In all there were only seven players from the 2015 All Australian team named again this year.

Finalist North Melbourne was among eight teams without a presence in this year's team, alongside the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fremantle, Port Adelaide and St Kilda. 

Adelaide key defender Daniel Talia has been selected in his second All Australian team, named at centre half-back.

What the players said

• Who's in the club? Click here to find every All Australian player