Star Richmond pair Dustin Martin and Alex Rance have been rewarded for their consistent performances across the 2016 home-and-away season by being named in the 40-man Virgin Australia AFL All Australian squad.
Dynamic midfielder Martin was selected in last year’s squad but missed the final cut, while it marks key defender, Rance’s third call-up having been named in the final side the last two years.
Martin had a blistering season, averaging 31 disposals per game (12.6 contested) and turning heads as a Brownlow Medal contender.
Martin had 427 kicks in season 2016 – the second highest in the competition.
Rance averaged 19 disposals per game this season and is ranked No. 4 in the competition for marks, taking an impressive 155 marks at an average of 7.8 per game.
The All-Australian selection panel includes Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Mark Evans, Danny Frawley, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson and Warren Tredrea.
The final team of 22 will be named on Thursday, September 1.
Dustin Martin, Richmond. Never Previously All Australian. 22 games in 2016. 427 kicks (second in the AFL in kicks), 99 marks, 257 handballs (fourth in the AFL in total disposals), averaging 19.4 kicks, 4.5 marks, 11.7 handballs. Nine Goals Nine Behinds. 115 Clearances (fifth in the AFL in I50), 112 Inside 50m, 54 Rebound 50m. 80 Tackles.
Alex Rance, Richmond. All Australian 2014, 2015. 20 games in 2016. 212 kicks, 155 marks (fourth in the AFL in marks), 161 handballs, averaging 10.6 kicks, 7.8 marks, 8.1 handballs. Zero Goals Zero Behinds. Three Clearances, 11 Inside 50m, 68 Rebound 50m. 43 Tackles.
Virgin Australia AFL All Australian 40-man squad
Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Rory Laird, Tom Lynch, Rory Sloane, Daniel Talia
Sam Docherty, Kade Simpson
Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar
Patrick Dangerfield, Corey Enright, Joel Selwood
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
Stephen Coniglio, Toby Greene, Tom Scully, Heath Shaw, Callan Ward
Jack Gunston, Sam Mitchell, Cyril Rioli
Dustin Martin, Alex Rance
Lance Franklin, Dan Hannebery, Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker, Dane Rampe
Andrew Gaff, Josh Kennedy, Jeremy McGovern, Luke Shuey
Marcus Bontempelli, Matthew Boyd
No nominated players: Brisbane Lions, Essendon