Would Vic Country have the best engine room in the comp if State of Origin was played?

It’s that time of year again.

As rugby league fans immerse themselves in the beauty of State of Origin, Australian football fans wonder what their code could be.

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

Since there can be endless possibilities, here are a few things to note.

The Allies team consists of players from New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and international players.

Players will be selected primarily based on their performance to date in 2022, but also on the value they provide to their team.

Injured players at the time of selection will not be selected.

The other of our Victorian teams has a lot more star power than Vic Metro’s, but a lack of good long backs could be their biggest drawback.

Defense

Sam Docherty (Captain)
After an inspiring return, the former Blues skipper has always been so reliable. Docherty has led all defenders before disposals this season and has earned his spot on the side along with the captaincy.

Ben McKay
McKay, who has averaged the league for interception marks this season, is evolving as a recognized key defender before our eyes. Just 24, the North back would have the chance to cement his spot for years to come.

Tom Stewart
The Cats defender has been solid this season. Stewart is in fourth place for asset interception and is well on his way to receiving a fourth All Australian blazer, hence his roster on the team.

Travis Colyer of the Dockers handballs past Geelong's Tom Stewart.

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Scott Pendlebury
The Collingwood star is making the switch to halfback and is enjoying his new role. If he goes down the ball more efficiently than ever in 2022, his excellent decision making would be of great value to Vic Country.

Paddy McCartin
McCartin has been sidelined for three years with ongoing concussions and hasn’t missed a beat since his return to AFL footy. A positional change has seen the Swans have a career-best year.

Alex Witherden
With his best season for a decimated Eagles side, Witherden can help Pendlebury with an efficient ride from the halfback line. With 84.8 percent for his ball use in 2022, Witherden is a perfect partner for the Pies skipper.

Followers

Sean Darcy
With a great run home last year, Darcy has been a point of difference for the Dockers if not injured. The Geelong Falcon has improved its hit-outs per match from 2021.

Sam Walsh
The young Blues, who previously returned from a syndesmosis injury, has not missed anything. With an average of 30 plus divestments for the first time in his career, Walsh is a block on this side.

Sam Walsh

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Darcy Parish
After a breakout in 2021, Parish has continued its remarkable streak of games, ranking third for divestments per game (32.9). By the way, when he was knocked out in round 13, the Bombers midfielder has amassed less than 30 divestments in 2022.

midfield

Josh Dunkley
The Dogs star has rejuvenated his career since making a swap request with Essendon in 2020. With an average of 26 disposals, seven marks and six tackles per game, Dunkley is shaping up to be a complete player of the league.

Clayton Oliver
Oliver is leading this year’s divestment competition and terrorizing the competition. The three-time Dees best and fairest winner rounds out an unstoppable on-ball unit.

Hugh McCluggage
McCluggage, a recognized winger who occasionally floats to the middle, is establishing himself nicely in the league. Career highs in numbers, tackles, and clearances roughly prove this point.

Forward

Dustin Martin
What representative team would be complete without Martin? While the 2017 Brownlow medalist hasn’t had the best season, his match-winning ability and explosive speed would be valuable to anyone.

Dustin Martin

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Jeremy Cameron
Short of leading the Coleman, Cameron takes his game to new heights. The Cats attacker is already equal to his goal total from last year and even starts in the middle. He will certainly receive his third All Australian blazer at the end of the year.

Will Brodie
Will Brodie, by far the recruit of the season, has wiped out his best numbers of his career. On average, Brodie racks up 27 dives and six evictions per game, despite only playing 69 percent of the game time.

Charlie Curnow
Current Coleman Medal leader Curnow has played a key role in Carlton’s turnaround. It thrives in Harry McKay’s absence and the key forward is making up for lost time.

Harry McKay
The 2021 Coleman medalist has continued with his goal kicks. With almost three goals per game, the Blues spearhead is deadly forward.

Jamie Elliott
Despite suffering injuries throughout his career, Elliott is finally finding his groove. Arguably one of Collingwood’s most valuable players, the Pies attacker has the ability to inject even X-factor into Vic Country’s engine room.

exchange

Rowan Marshall
Marshall has been a regular on the Saints team since his debut. The Saints’ backup ruckman finds ways to get involved without entering the competition, making him a great second option for Vic Country.

Ollie Wines
The reigning Brownlow medalist is slightly down from his tally from last year and still consistently puts together solid games. Wines is also on the sidelines to bring his wealth of experience to an already outstanding midfield.

Ollie Wines of the Power kicks on target

(Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Tom Papley
The Swans Livewire knows where the targets are. With over 25 goals in all but one of the seasons before 2022, Papley’s smart goals would be good for Vic Country.

Jack Crisp
Crisp has thrived since his move to midfield. The Pies midfielder is sixth in the under 50s league and is at home on this side.

Coach

Ken Hinkley
Hinkley took over as Port coach in 2013, taking Port Adelaide to the finals in his first two seasons. With a 59 percent win rate, Hinkley coached Port to consecutive top two finishes in 2020 and 2021.

B: Docherty (C), B. McKay, Stewart
HB: Pendlebury, McCartin, Witherden
FO: Darcy, Walsh, Parish
C: Dunkley, Oliver, McCluggage
HF: Martin, Cameron, Brodie
F: Curnow, H. McKay, Elliott
INT: Marshall, Wines, Papley, Crisp
Coach: Hinkley