Would this allied team be the favorite of State of Origin?

It’s that time of year again. As rugby league fans immerse themselves in the beauty of State of Origin, AFL football fans wonder what their code could be.

But who exactly would be selected for each team if the AFL changed its mind? In this six-part series, I will select the top 22 for six Home State teams (Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia, Western Australia, Indigenous All Stars and the Allies).

As there can be endless possibilities, here are a few things to note:

– The Allies squad is made up of players from New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, as well as international players.
– Players are selected primarily based on their performance in 2022 so far, but also the value they bring to their team.
– Players injured at the time of selection will not be selected.

It was a very difficult team to choose. If structure meant nothing in the football landscape, I would have picked seven key forwards.

I managed to fit in four with a couple playing small. On top of that, this team could arguably be the strongest and most complete team in the competition.

Defense

Dougal Howard

Leading the competition for loot, Howard has been a convenient choice for the Saints since leaving Port Adelaide in 2020. The Wagga Wagga native would be the third great in a star-studded backline.

Harris Andrews

A crucial pillar of the Lions defence, Andrews has always been consistent this season. Sixth in ratings and fifth in loot in 2022, the two-time All-Australian is perfectly equipped to play in this team.

isaac cumming

The Giants defenseman has come of age over the past two seasons. Ranked first in assignments and yards gained, Cumming is a star in the making.

Jeremy Howe

This top-flight defender has been solid for the Pies since joining the club. Averaging 16 kills and six points per game, Howe’s brilliant decision-making abilities can launch the Allies on the attack.

Aliir Aliir

Aliir has been a barometer since moving to Port Adelaide. The 2021 All-Australian continued to be an interception threat, racking up eight interception possessions per game.

(Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Nick Blakey

Blakey broke out as running back. Including a 31-elimination game last weekend, the Swans young gun could be used as a winger if needed.

Followers

Jarrod Witt

Arguably the best ruckman this season, Witts has made up for lost time. Coming back from an ACL injury last year, Witts is above the rest in hits and leads all ruckman in punts.

Ben Keys

Accumulating the best numbers of his career, the Crows midfielder is quickly becoming one of the best midfielders in the competition. Ranked elite for central eliminations and clearances, he would have the keys to piloting this midfield.

Callum Mills

Mills has been part of the elite since his time in midfield. The Swans co-captain is amassing 26 takedowns, seven makes and six tackles per game (elite ranking in last two stats).

Midfielder

Zach Tuohy

The Cats defenseman has been playing on the field lately, and that’s where he finds himself on this team. Starting on the wing allows Tuohy to become more attacking with his use of the ball, which threatens Geelong in defence.

Zach Tuohy Geelong Cats AFL 2017

(Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Jack Steele (captain)

The Saints’ midfield soldier, Steele exemplifies true courage and bravery on the pitch. Although his season has been riddled with injuries, the St Kilda captain is definitely in the best period of his career.

Aaron Room

Excelling at half-back, the northern speedster (like Tuohy) would start higher than usual, but still come back as a defensive end. With the ball in hand, Hall would have no problem launching into attack.

Attackers

Luc Breust

The three-time premier has been a mainstay in the Hawthorn 50 forward for over a decade. 25 more goals currently in 2022, it’s easy to see why he would be a mainstay in the Allies forward line.

Tom Hawkin

Fifth in the race for the Coleman medal and third in assists, this man really knows how to use the foot. Having Hawkins play on the ground will allow him to produce more assists, but also to come home if needed.

Isaac Heney

Averaging two goals and 17 eliminations per game, Heeney has been electric this season. The Swans dynamo would make a great striker in this team, but also a pinch in the middle if needed.

Jack Riewoldt

Continuing to function in Richmond’s forward line, Riewoldt brings a wealth of experience to this Allies side. Three-time medalist Coleman has kicked 50 in a season nine times in his career.

Taylor Walker

Over the past two seasons, Tex has been able to return to his career-best form. With an average of three goals per game, the Crows’ key striker is rising through the ranks.

Errol Gulden

In just his second season, Gulden appears to have already played 100 games. Averaging nearly a goal and 19 eliminations per game, the Swans forward should fit the role well.

Exchange

Dane Ramp

Another Swans co-captain, Rampe has long been a rock in Sydney’s defence. The 2016 All-Australian would benefit the team with his lock-in ability, allowing players around him to intercept and attack.

Matthew Kennedy

Replacing Dayne Zorko in the side, Kennedy has revived his career over the past 12-18 months. Averaging 25 transfers and 11 contested possessions per game, the Blues rookie has been an important cog in their midfield this year.

Tom Green

Averaging 26 touches per game, the Giants bull has certainly had a breakthrough in 2022. His contested ball-winning and clearance work would be invaluable to the Allies.

Brody Mihocek

Scoring at least 25 goals in every season he has played in the AFL, Mihocek is on course to break his previous record with 28 so far (best is 36 in 2019). The Collingwood were selected among other eligible key forwards due to their ability to play small.

Coach: Chris Fagan

Fagan has been a lifesaver for Brisbane Football Club. Turning the Lions into a consistent Finals participant over the past three years, the Tassie-born coach could turn this team into a powerhouse.

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