Marcus Bontempelli, Isaac Heeney, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Jack Riewoldt. Picture: AFL Photos

SOME of the best players in the country have already put their hands up to take part in next month's State of Origin bushfire relief match.

Eight players – four for Victoria and four for the All Stars – were put forward by the AFL, with clubs now in the process of selecting their lists for the Victoria v All Stars match at Marvel Stadium on Friday, February 28. 

STATE OF ORIGIN How the Vic v All Stars teams will be picked

Victoria will be led by Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick while Sydney counterpart John Longmire will oversee the All Stars.

A maximum of three players per AFL club will be eligible to feature across the two playing lists.

HELPING HAND How your club is aiding the bushfire relief efforts has confirmed that the player's birthplace will determine which team they are eligible to play for, not the state they were drafted from.

For example, Hawthorn star midfielder Tom Mitchell would be eligible to represent Victoria and not the All Stars due to the fact he was born in Victoria. That’s despite him leaving for Western Australia at the age of 15, representing Western Australia in the 2011 NAB AFL Under 18s Championships and being drafted out of WAFL club Claremont.

OUR MOCK TEAMS's picks for Vic v All Stars

The final teams will be announced on on Wednesday, February 26.  

Here, our writers name their eight players from each club who are eligible for both squads.


Victoria: Brad Crouch, Matt Crouch, Rory Sloane, Daniel Talia,
All Stars: Rory Laird, Wayne Milera, Brodie Smith, Taylor Walker

Dual All-Australian defender Rory Laird should be a walk-up start in the All Stars team, while Brodie Smith is a strong chance to join him on a half-back flank. Former skipper Taylor Walker, who led the Crows' goalkicking last year, gives selectors another key forward option, although he probably doesn't make the final cut. Wayne Milera's versatility is also handy. The strength of the Victorian midfield will make it tough for new Crows captain Rory Sloane, reigning best and fairest Brad Crouch or younger brother Matt to make an imposing on-ball brigade for the Big V. However, reliable key defender Daniel Talia will be in consideration with his ability to lock down the opposition's best tall forward. - Lee Gaskin



Victoria: Darcy Gardiner, Stefan Martin, Hugh McCluggage, Cam Rayner
All Stars: Harris Andrews, Charlie Cameron, Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko

Fresh off All Australian seasons, any - or all - of Harris Andrews, Lachie Neale and Charlie Cameron would look right at home in the All Stars team. Dayne Zorko's ability to split time between midfield and as a goalkicking forward option could see him edge one of his teammates, though. On the Victorian side, Hugh McCluggage was one of the best wingmen in the competition in 2019 and would fit in seamlessly on the big stage with his sublime ball use entering the forward 50. Darcy Gardiner is under-rated and capable of playing on talls or smalls, although it will be a hard 22 to crack. – Michael Whiting



Victoria: Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering
All Stars: Patrick Cripps, Liam Jones, Jack Martin, Mitch McGovern

Carlton will consider sending a couple of its veterans for Victorian selection, with Marc Murphy and Kade Simpson two of its most consistent performers. Young gun Sam Walsh is already one of the club's most important players and will add run to the midfield, while Jacob Weitering is a reliable defender and might find his place in Victoria's back six. Co-captain Sam Docherty, as well as tall forwards Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay, might have been certainties for Victorian selection if not for injuries. Patrick Cripps is one of the game's best players and will be a guaranteed starter in the All Stars' midfield, while his fellow West Australians in Mitch McGovern and Jack Martin could add some flexibility to its forward line through their marking and speed respectively. Liam Jones, from Tasmania, could act as an intercept option down back. - Riley Beveridge

Patrick Cripps is a lock for the All Stars team. Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Scott Pendlebury, Jordan De Goey, Steele Sidebottom, Jack Crisp
All Stars: Brodie Grundy, Jeremy Howe, Brody Mihocek, Chris Mayne

Champion skipper Scott Pendlebury and star forward Jordan De Goey (fitness permitting) should be locks for the Big V and could be joined by vice-captain Steele Sidebottom and Jack Crisp. This leaves no room for Adam Treloar, the most prolific midfielder in the competition last year, along with the likes of Taylor Adams and Darcy Moore, while youngster Jaidyn Stephenson is still making his way back from glandular fever. The game's premier ruckman, South Australian Brodie Grundy, will lead the All Stars' on-ball brigade and high-flying Hobart product Jeremy Howe is a contender for a back six spot, while fellow Tasmanian Brody Mihocek could be a sneaky chance for a forward role. - Ben Collins

Scott Pendlebury in action for Victoria during the 2008 Hall of Fame Tribute match. Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Michael Hurley, Adam Saad, Dylan Shiel, Jake Stringer
All Stars: Tom Bellchambers, Orazio Fantasia, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Conor McKenna

Injury-impacted pre-seasons mean there are doubts over whether Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett (Victoria) and Cale Hooker (All Stars) would be ready to play in the clash next month, so we've kept them out of contention here. Essendon isn't short of contenders from Victoria, though, with Adam Saad and Michael Hurley among the most likely given their quality in defence. Devon Smith would also be a chance. Without Hooker likely to be available as he recovers from hip surgery, the Bombers don't have a lot of depth in their All Stars ranks. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti should get a strong look-in as one of the side's small forwards. – Callum Twomey



Victoria: Luke Ryan, Andy Brayshaw, Darcy Tucker, Sean Darcy
All Stars: Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, Joel Hamling, Rory Lobb

Hard to see reigning Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe missing this type of opportunity despite post-season shoulder surgery. Michael Walters will be a first-choice small forward, while Joel Hamling's further growth in 2019 season could see him claim a spot in defence for the All Stars. If there's a spot remaining for the Dockers, Victorian Luke Ryan could be an option. Andy Brayshaw, Darcy Tucker and Rory Lobb forced their way into the considered eight after top-10 finishes in last year's Doig Medal, while Sean Darcy is a left-field ruck choice. Victorian David Mundy (broken leg) and All Star contenders Alex Pearce (ankle) and Nathan Wilson (toe) won't be fit, while Jesse Hogan (foot) will be more unlikely than likely after just returning to full running. – Mitch Cleary



Victoria: Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett, Mark Blicavs, Luke Dahlhaus
All Stars: Tom Hawkins, Zach Tuohy, Harry Taylor, Quinton Narkle

Patrick Dangerfield is a lock to play for Victoria and could be an option to lead the team. The president of the AFL Players Association has been a major driver of the game and could line up alongside Gary Ablett, who missed the 2008 Hall of Fame Tribute Match. Mark Blicavs will be considered for a key defensive role but may struggle fitting into Geelong's eligible cap of three with Tom Hawkins also a strong chance for the All Stars. West Australian Mitch Duncan (hip/shoulder) and Victorians Joel Selwood (hamstring) and Tom Stewart (groin) won't be up for selection.  – Mitch Cleary

Gary Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield would form a pretty handy combination for Victoria. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos


Victoria: Ben Ainsworth, Brandon Ellis, Brayden Fiorini, Touk Miller
All Stars: Jarrod Harbrow, Alex Sexton, Lachie Weller, Jarrod Witts

The Suns are a tricky prospect with a largely unproven team, but the All Stars are sure to benefit from some of their personnel. Alex Sexton is a proven goalkicker and should command a spot, while Jarrod Harbrow – who is almost back to full training after a pre-Christmas niggle – would be perfect as a running half-back. Brandon Ellis could be an outside chance of playing in the Victorian team, with his ability to play wing and half-back. – Michael Whiting

Alex Sexton produced some stunning football last season. Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield
All Stars: Phil Davis, Stephen Coniglio, Jacob Hopper, Zac Williams

Any of the above Giants quartet could find themselves playing for the Big V. Jeremy Cameron should be a lock as one of the game's premier forwards and fresh off a Coleman Medal and All Australian season, while a fit Josh Kelly would be terrific on the wing. It would be hard to go past South Australian Phil Davis as a defensive anchor for the All Stars, while new club captain Stephen Coniglio would look at home in the midfield. – Michael Whiting

Could Josh Kelly find his way onto a wing for Victoria? Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Jack Gunston, Ben McEvoy, James Sicily, James Worpel
All Stars: Luke Breust, Jaeger O'Meara, Ben Stratton, Chad Wingard

Hawthorn will be reluctant to allow Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell to play, given he is returning from a year out of the game due to a broken leg. That could also solve a massive headache in terms of his eligibility, given he spent time in both Victoria and Western Australia in his junior years. James Worpel could take his place in Victoria's midfield, while James Sicily and Jack Gunston could hold down a position at either end of the field. Ben McEvoy might challenge Melbourne's Max Gawn for a ruck spot. Jaeger O'Meara appears a certain starter in the All Stars' midfield, while Chad Wingard and Luke Breust could cause some havoc as smaller options in its forward line. Hawthorn's skipper, Ben Stratton, should be an option down back. Isaac Smith and Shaun Burgoyne could also challenge for an All Stars spot. - Riley Beveridge



Victoria: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Angus Brayshaw
All Stars: Steven May, Neville Jetta, Aaron vandenBerg, Alex Neal-Bullen

Three-time All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn remains the best tap ruckman in the game and will play a key role in the Vics' quest as he looks set to provide silver service to a star-studded midfield that could include his Demons teammate Clayton Oliver. The Gawn-to-Oliver combination at stoppages has become a key feature of Melbourne's play in recent years, which certainly wouldn't have been lost on the selectors. The clash would be the biggest occasion in the career of key defender Steven May, given the former Sun is yet to play a final as he enters his 10th season at AFL level. - Ben Collins



Victoria: Shaun Higgins, Ben Cunnington, Todd Goldstein, Robbie Tarrant
All Stars: Ben Brown, Trent Dumont, Jared Polec, Cam Zurhaar

The Roos' Victorian contingent is strong enough that captain Jack Ziebell doesn't make this list. Shaun Higgins seems a likely candidate across half-forward, while Ben Cunnington will be among the quality inside midfielders considered for selection. Todd Goldstein and Robbie Tarrant will also be right in the mix for selection, depending how many talls Victorian coach Damien Hardwick wants to take into the clash. The Roos had fewer obvious contenders for the All Stars squad, apart from forward lock Ben Brown and wingman Jared Polec. Physical forward Cam Zurhaar and midfielder Trent Dumont are senior regulars who both had career-best seasons in 2019. – Callum Twomey

Ben Cunnington is firmly in the frame for Victorian selection. Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Travis Boak, Robbie Gray, Ollie Wines, Darcy Byrne-Jones
All Stars: Connor Rozee, Scott Lycett, Brad Ebert, Charlie Dixon

Four-time All-Australian small forward Robbie Gray has had an outstanding, injury-free pre-season and would be a massive asset to the Victorian side. Reigning best and fairest Travis Boak deserves a spot, however the midfield is so strong he could miss out. The same applies to vice-captain Ollie Wines, while emerging defender Darcy Byrne-Jones – runner-up in the best and fairest – offer selectors run out of the backline. Key defender Tom Clurey is another option, although he's been managed at times this pre-season due to injury, while midfielder Tom Rockliff is working his way back from shoulder surgery. First-year gun Connor Rozee and ruck Scott Lycett are the best chances of earning spots in the All Stars team. Captain Tom Jonas is returning from an ankle injury and might not be available, so key forward Charlie Dixon joins veteran Brad Ebert as the Power's last two All Stars nominations. - Lee Gaskin



Victoria: Dylan Grimes, Tom Lynch, Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia
All Stars: Shane Edwards, Marlion Pickett, Jack Riewoldt, Sydney Stack

Skipper Trent Cotchin may just miss out on Victorian selection under coach Damien Hardwick, as Jack Dyer medallist Dion Prestia is coming off stronger form. The Tigers could have bookends in the Big V, with Tom Lynch and newly minted Virgin Australia AFL All Australian Dylan Grimes looking set for a gig (Bachar Houli's soft tissue concerns over summer rules him out), and Dustin Martin is born for the big stage. Just try to stop proud Tasmanian Jack Riewoldt from having a run, while clever South Australian Shane Edwards adds some experience. Rounding out the possible Tiger All Stars are dynamic West Australian pair Sydney Stack and Marlion Pickett, edging out Dan Rioli and Shai Bolton (Toby Nankervis is still recovering from groin surgery). What better way to follow up a Grand Final debut than with a State of Origin match? – Sarah Black



Victoria: Jade Gresham, Rowan Marshall, Sebastian Ross, Jack Billings
All Stars: Bradley Hill, Jack Steele, Dougal Howard, Patrick Ryder

Bradley Hill would be a walk-up start on any wing in any team, so he should be a certainty for the All Stars. It's unlikely a representative team would pick Jack Steele as a tagger, but his body of work deserves recognition. Jade Gresham as a forward pocket and Rowan Marshall as a ruckman make the most sense for Victoria, while Seb Ross and Jack Billings might have a tougher time in a strong midfield. Dougal Howard could be a smokey for the All Stars, with his ability to slot in just about any key tall role a massive plus. Patrick Ryder would be unlikely, but he deserves the nod over the Saints' other All Star contenders in Ben Long and Jimmy Webster. – Jourdan Canil

Star recruit Bradley Hill takes a selfie with fans at St Kilda training. Picture: AFL Photos


Victoria: Josh Kennedy, Jake Lloyd, Tom Papley, Luke Parker
All Stars: Isaac Heeney, George Hewett, Callum Mills, Dane Rampe

Victoria could be bolstered by Sydney's stocks at either end of the field in the form of two of the game's more reliable smaller players, with Tom Papley likely to provide a spark in the forward line and Jake Lloyd to add run and drive off half-back. Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker are both warriors in the midfield and could be utilised to add grunt out of the centre for the Vics. The club's Academy duo Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills will be in contention for All Stars selection, while reigning best and fairest winner Dane Rampe should be a candidate for the full-back position. George Hewett, from South Australia, could be used in the midfield after a season in which he finished second in the club's best and fairest. Goalkicking great Lance Franklin would have been a certainty in the All Stars squad, had he not been forced to undergo knee surgery earlier this month. - Riley Beveridge



Victoria: Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, Will Schofield, Liam Duggan
All Stars: Tim Kelly, Elliot Yeo, Shannon Hurn, Nic Naitanui

Usually one of the premier wingers in the competition would be a walk-up start in the Victorian team, but the stipulations around having a maximum of three players from each club involved means Andrew Gaff might be a notable omission from the Big V. In any case, he's definitely one of the Victorian nominations from the Eagles. Luke Shuey's also straight in, while Will Schofield and Liam Duggan present selectors with a couple of defensive options. The Eagles are set to dominate the All Stars team, with star recruit Tim Kelly, former skipper Shannon Hurn and midfielder Elliot Yeo in the mix. That leaves no room for mercurial ruckman Nic Naitanui, although he might be included ahead of Yeo for team balance. All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern wasn't considered due to his heel injury. - Lee Gaskin



Victoria: Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter
All Stars: Aaron Naughton, Caleb Daniel, Tim English, Jason Johannisen

The Victorian selectors can take their pick of midfielders from the Bulldogs. Marcus Bontempelli is a lock, while Jack Macrae deserves serious consideration. Lachie Hunter has been ultra-consistent for a long time and Josh Dunkley's 2019 was fantastic, but they're a little behind the pack. Aaron Naughton is unlikely to be fully fit, but the thought of him taking hangers for the All Stars would get bums on seats. Caleb Daniel and Jason Johannisen could set plays up off the back half, while Tim English is a way behind some of the other All-Star ruck candidates in Brody Grundy and Jarrod Witts. – Jourdan Canil