GWS superstar Toby Greene has been named captain of the All-Australian team in a reward for his best ever home and away season.
Greene was given the nod ahead of a strong field including fellow club captains Darcy Moore and Marcus Bontempelli, who was named vice-captain.
Bontempelli and Geelong defender Tom Stewart earnt their fifth All-Australian blazers, while 12 debutants were named in the side, the same number of fresh faces as last season.
At 33, Adelaide veteran Taylor Walker has become the oldest All-Australian debutant since the team started being selected annually in its current form in 1991.
Stewart, Charlie Curnow, Jack Sinclair, Connor Rozee and Christian Petracca were the five returning members of last year’s side, while debutants Nick and Josh Daicos were the first brothers to be selected together in the team since Chad and Kane Cornes in 2007.
Collingwood and Port Adelaide had a league-high three representatives in the side, while fellow top four teams Brisbane and Melbourne only had one player in the side.
Only three clubs were not represented in the final 22 after all had a player named in the initial 44-man squad: Gold Coast, Richmond and West Coast.
Richmond star Dustin Martin was unable to force his way into the team despite his impressive second half of the season, with Petracca and Rozee claiming the half-forward positions, while tough on-ballers Tom Liberatore and Jack Viney could not find a spot in a stacked midfield, with Jordan Dawson, Zach Merrett and Caleb Serong winning spots on the interchange bench.
North Melbourne sharpshooter Nick Larkey’s incredible 20 goals in his final three games forced his way into the side, possibly at the expense of versatile Essendon target Kyle Langford.
The selectors opted for a key defensive combination of Moore, Callum Wilkie and James Sicily ahead of Brisbane’s Harris Andrews and Carlton’s Jacob Weitering, while Tim English secured the lone ruck spot in the side from Rowan Marshall and Luke Jackson.
Greene, who booted 60 goals in 21 games, the second-most matches he has ever played in a home and away season, earnt his third All-Australian blazer after appearances in 2016 and 2021.
It was surprisingly just the second time fellow small forward Charlie Cameron received the honour, with his 53.23 this season earning a return to the AA side for the first time since 2019.
Originally published as AFL Awards: Toby Greene named All-Australian captain, 12 debutants