STAR Richmond defender Alex Rance has been rewarded with the captaincy of the Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team after another brilliant season. 

At the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Wednesday night, Rance was picked in the side for the fourth-straight season. 

A humbled Rance admitted to knowing in advance he had been awarded the honour, which came for the first time in his career.  

"It's a bit embarrassing, to be totally honest. There's so many super players up here," Rance said. 

"I found out pretty early on in the night because I had a look at my jacket and it had the 'C'. 

"Standing in front of 'Buddy' Franklin, Josh Kennedy, Joel Selwood, these guys who are true champions of the game. I'm sort of just making up the numbers." 

West Coast goalkicker Kennedy missed out on a third-straight Coleman Medal when Sydney superstar Lance Franklin pipped him in the last round but was rewarded with the vice-captaincy and the full-forward spot. 

Franklin was named at centre-half forward. It was his seventh berth in the team.

Three members of the 'Essendon 34' were named after missing all of last year: Michael Hurley, Melbourne defender Michael Hibberd and Port Adelaide ruckman Paddy Ryder.

Ryder won the battle of the big men in the South Australian teams, with Adelaide's Sam Jacobs edged out in a tight battle.

It's been a remarkable comeback for Hibberd, who missed the first month of 2017 with an Achilles complaint but has averaged 27 disposals since. 

Minor premier Adelaide, seventh-placed Essendon and eighth-placed West Coast each had three members in the team.

Six sides didn't have a representative: Collingwood, Fremantle, Gold Coast, North Melbourne, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.

Pies high-flyer Jeremy Howe was among those unlucky to miss out.

The class of 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Gun Adelaide backman Rory Laird won a spot in the team for the first time, after being named in the squad but missing out on the team for the past two years.

Carlton rebounder Sam Docherty became the first Blue since Chris Judd and Marc Murphy in 2011 to be selected in the side when he was named for the first time.

West Coast aerial specialist Jeremy McGovern backed up his selection from last season with a place in the back pocket.

Injured Geelong captain Joel Selwood was named on the interchange bench – his sixth time in the side.

Explosive Greater Western Sydney onballer Dylan Shiel, Adelaide hard nut Matt Crouch and versatile West Coast backman Elliot Yeo were also on the pine, with all three pulling on the blazer for the first time.

Selwood played just 18 games after requiring surgery for a left ankle syndesmosis injury late in the season and was concussed in the first minute of the round 14 win against Fremantle.

Essendon big man Joe Daniher was named in a forward pocket, alongside Adelaide jet Eddie Betts.

Dayne Zorko was one of a few shining lights for the 18th-placed Brisbane Lions and was picked on a half-forward flank, along with Port Adelaide's triple All Australian Robbie Gray.

Hawthorn ball-winner Tom Mitchell was rover in his first season since being traded from Sydney while reigning Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) won a fifth berth.

Bullocking Richmond onballer Dustin Martin was named in the centre, flanked by out-of-contract Greater Western Sydney midfielder Josh Kelly and Essendon's Zach Merrett on the wings.