Almanac Teams: The Terrific 2s (1980-)

A team of best players to wear the Number 2 jumper since 1980.



As a refresher, my criteria is:


  • Starting 18 will consist of players from each current club, Brisbane/Fitzroy will be 1 club with preference to them if not a suitable option from GWS/Gold Coast and for interchange.
  • Teams will try to be as balanced as possible but if a number has several rucks as its best player an alternative will be picked. I will explain my selections below the team.
  • Players may appear under multiple number (for example Gavin Wanganeen in Number 1 and 4).
  • Stats are based on their time in that number.



I also have two teams per number, one is a best of and the other is based on players picked for different obscure/unusual reasons like cameos, unknown brothers, fathers, known for other reasons etc




FB:               Dylan Grimes (Rich)                  Danny Frawley (DVC) (St.K)           Chris Johnson (Fitz/Bris)


CHB:           Robert Murphy (WB)                  Tom Harley (C) (Geel)                     Wayne Schwass (NM/Syd)


C:                 Robert Flower (VC) (Melb)        Greg Williams (Syd/Carl)               Dean Kemp (WCE)


CHF:           Adrian Fletcher (Freo)                Jarryd Roughead (Haw)                 Mark Mercuri (Ess)


FF:               Nick Davis (Syd)                          Zac Smith (GCS)                             Jacob Hopper (GWS)


Ruck:          Matthew Primus (PA)                  Brad Crouch (Adel)                         Tony Francis (Coll)


Interchange: Andrew Jarman (Adel), Nathan Jones (Melb), Mark LeCras (WCE), Chris Mew (Haw)


Emergencies: Darren Gaspar (Rich), Aaron Hamill (St.K), Nick Holland (Haw), Steven Tingay (Melb)


Coach: Stan Alves




Games in Number 2 (Years played)


Dylan Grimes 162 (2012- )

Danny Frawley 155 (1988-1995)

Chris Johnson 264 (1994-2007)

Robert Murphy 309 (2000-2017)

Tom Harley 133 (2002-2009)

Wayne Schwass 275 (1989-2002)

Robert Flower 272 (1973-1987)

Greg Williams 216 (1986-1997)

Dean Kemp 220 (1991-2001)

Adrian Fletcher 79 (1998-2001)

Jarryd Roughead 267 (2006-19)

Mark Mercuri 204 (1993-2004)

Nick Davis 97 (2003-2008)

Zac Smith 65 (2011-2015)

Jacob Hopper 84 (2016- )

Matthew Primus 63 (1997-2000)

Brad Crouch 95 (2013-2020)

Tony Francis 142 (1990-1998)

Andrew Jarman 110 (1991-1996)

Nathan Jones 294 (2006-2020)

Mark LeCras 213 (2007-2018)

Chris Mew 153 (1984-1992)


Please note that for Williams and Schwass, while picked for Carlton and North Melbourne, I have also counted their times as Swans.



The Number 2 team is very strong in defence but the forward line lacks for talls; Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead and Nick Holland provide the key forward options. The strength of the defence can be seen by being Mew on the bench and Darren Gaspar, a two-time All Australian being an emergency.


Hawthorn and Melbourne were two teams that had multiple options for selection. Hawthorn as discussed above had Roughead, Mew and Holland and Melbourne had Flower, Jones and Tingay. Each other club had obvious choices for their best Number 2 with Nick Davis going in for Sydney as I chose Greg Williams and Wayne Schwass for their other clubs.


The defence has players who were each an All Australian. Wayne Schwass is better known on a wing, but did play occasionally on a HBF. Chris Mew would be the spare tall defender and Robert Flower could also play in defence. The midfield does lack a bit of speed with Williams, Crouch, Jarman and Fletcher also playing in there, though all get plenty of the ball and Jones could manage a tagging role. Matthew Primus was one of the best rucks in his day and Zac Smith as second ruck and better known as a ruck than forward, but neither Primus or Smith are noted goalkickers. Tony Francis is very good first rover having had an impact straight away, copping a six week suspension in his first game for kicking Murray Rance, winning a premiership in his first year and Best & Fairest in his second year.


The forward line is the weak point of the side with a lot of reliance of Roughy to kick goals. Davis and LeCras are good mid-sized options up forward with Flower and Murphy also able to assist with goals and Mercuri roving the packs. Hamill and Holland are capable CHFs, they are listed as emergencies.


The team contains eight club captains; I went with Tom Harley who was a two time premiership captain and All Australian. Robbie Flower as vice captain was a revered figure as captain of Melbourne and also Victoria. Danny Frawley selected as DVC having spent nine years as St Kilda captain. Other captains were Murphy, Kemp, Roughead, Fletcher and Primus. interestingly Murphy and Primus were captains of premiership winning sides, but unfortunately did not play in the Grand Final.


Unlucky players were Mark Williams (Coll*/Bris), Tom Bellchambers (Ess), Bruce Lindner (Geel/Adel*), Leigh Colbert (Geel/NM*) and Darryl Wakelin (St.K*/PA).



Phil Dimitriadis has provided his own version of an all time list HERE




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  1. Ta Rodney, i noticed Bruce Lindner in the unlucky players. That seemed to sum up his career, injuries,with some bouts of inconsistency, but when he turned it on he was great to watch.

    He wore 2 with Geelong, 9 with Adelaide. The closest he came to a full season at Geelong was twice playing 18 games in both 1987, then 1989. His best season was probably the 18 games he played in 1987 in which he kicked 62 goals. That included two bags of 7. Late in the season when Geelong looked dead and buried at the S C G when he bombed a goal from near the centre of the ground. Geelong then roared home snatching an amazing victory against the odds.

    1988 opened well for ‘The Prez’. 5 goals in the opening match versus the Weagles. The following week he kicked 9,6 against North Melbourne at the ‘G’. Return to the same ground 7 days later he tears a ‘hammy’ in the opening minutes. This epitomised his time with Geelong.


  2. Bloody good side when Andrew Jarman can’t get a spot in the pivot and yes purely balance wise alas for selection criteria would be,Holland to CHF and Roughy FF – I sent your side thru to the skipper thank you

  3. Surely Patrick Dangerfield should be there in place of Brad Crouch. Crouch certainly is a ball magnet however most of his disposals are defensive handballs, only half of his kicks find a teammate and he kicks few goals.

  4. Thanks Glen, from memory Bruce had some ability, being in same forward line as Ablett created problems in late 1980s they were either both very hot or very cold. Lindner played in backline in 1989 Grand Final where Tony Wilson describes in his book how Lindner frustrated Blight by going for his marks instead of punching.

    Thanks Rulebook, I don’t think we saw the best of Andrew Jarman in the AFL, yet he always seemed to play well for South Australia. Tingay may have being a better balanced selection but did not want 3 players from one club and thought Jarman might be a better big game player.

    Fisho, sorry may have misunderstood the side, it is based on players to wear Number 2 for their club.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Really good team. Great to see Adrian Fletcher included, superb footballer, I’m still not happy that Collingwood selected Scott Cummings instead of Fletcher for the last spot on our list in 2002.

  6. That would have being Fletcher 5th club, entering Dale Kickett area.

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