Ben Cunnington won't play in Friday's bushfire relief match. Picture: AFL Photos

ANDREW Gaff will become West Coast's third representative in this week's State of Origin bushfire relief match, with the wingman to replace a sore Ben Cunnington in a star-studded Victorian midfield group.

North Melbourne has opted to pull Cunnington from Friday night's contest at Marvel Stadium, with the hard-nosed midfielder battling soreness following last week's Marsh Community Series defeat to the Western Bulldogs.

However, despite the slight setback for Cunnington, the Kangaroos expect their reigning best and fairest winner to recover in time for their second official pre-season outing against the Swans at Kingston Twins Oval in Hobart on March 9.

Andrew Gaff has been called in by the Big V for Friday's bushfire relief game. Picture: AFL Photos

STATE OF ORIGIN TEAMS Check out the star-laden Vic v All-Stars squads

Cunnington was among the best as North Melbourne fell to the Bulldogs, recording 27 disposals, six clearances and seven tackles in his side's 44-point loss.


Gaff replaces Cunnington in the 27-man Victorian squad for Friday night's clash against the All-Stars.

He subsequently becomes the only West Coast player named for Victoria and the third Eagle set to feature in the match, with his teammates Elliot Yeo and Brad Sheppard due to line up for the All-Stars.


Gaff replacing Cunnington is so far the only change to the original squads for the State of Origin clash, which were named last Tuesday.