The 2017 South Australian Claytons State of Origin Team

With the north eastern states hogging all the State of Origin attention this week, the perennial discussion about returning it in Australian Football has reared its tired head. I’m not sure people really want State of Origin – they might really just want footy the way it was back when Origin was quite good. I can live without it.


The suggestion that AFL players should be awarded a state guernsey each year based on performance, even if there isn’t State of Origin footy, has quite a bit of appeal. It rewards players having a good season. And for many the state guernsey still has some appeal.


To get the ball rolling, here’s first crack at a South Australian side (using the proper method of displaying a team).


So, yes, South Australia is going with a mosquito fleet. Big men (other than ruckmen) are somewhat of a problem. And before you take issue, if Victoria could have Ireland as a State of Origin territory in the ‘80s and ‘90s, then SA can have Broken Hill now. And don’t even try saying Eddie Betts is Victorian (or from WA).


Who would you add or subtract from this SA State of Origin team? Who should be coach? Is four Norwood players too few?



About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. The Claytons team. The team you have when you are not having a team!

  2. Rulebook says

    Dave Rory Atkins recruited from,Calder Canons not sure he is eligible and nothing against,Matty Wright but the fact he is quite rightly being considered in this format means we would get spanked if they were real games likewise,Shane Edwards ( I do like the idea) surely we can find a spot for Matty Panos and Mitch Grigg at least

  3. Kath Presdee says

    Ahem, Broken Hill is Allies Territory. I’m not going to quibble over Canberra boy Phil Davis.

    Next you’ll have Victoria claiming the Riverina north of the Murray.

  4. Dave Brown says

    Quite right Rulebook, have fixed it. Absolutely, looking at this team you see how uncompetitive we would be in an origin format. Our lack of midfield grunt might have you considering an SANFL player.

    Based on what local ABC station places get, Kath ;)

  5. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    What Rulebook said x2

    I’ve pretty much lost track of who came from where these days but it does seem that SA isn’t much of a breeding ground. Whether this is a blip or a more permanent outcome based on the local pathways, or even the blinkered views of the AFL recruiters, I dunno.

    Even the (virtual) rules would be interesting, using Wayne Carey’s checkered history of State team qualification.

    We could claim Clarko as coach based on where he started his coaching career.

  6. Dave Brown says

    Yeah, might need to, Swish. Otherwise it’s an assistant like Nathan Bassett or Scott Camporeale.

    I think it’s just demographic reality. SA’s average age is approaching 99 and if the AFL’s figures are to be believed more people now play Aussie Rules in each of NSW and Queensland than in SA.

  7. James Lang says

    You did better than the AFL website writers and SEN Dave, both had Eddie Betts in a Victorian squad. I’m
    Not sure when Port Lincoln changed states?

  8. Nice job Dave. I loved the state games and was there the night Sticks kicked ten. They were brilliant, but we’ve moved on. Would I like to see, for example, Eddie suffer a season ending injury playing for SA? Nup, not worth it. I’d rather see my team win a flag.

  9. Ben Footner says

    As much as I hate to admit it I agree with Mickey.

    I do think the SANFL should name an ‘All-South Australian’ team at the end of each season though just to claw back some recognition for the time, effort and $$$ that they and clubs put in to developing the talent that gets whisked away to the big league. I’m sure it would still be an honour for the players as well.

  10. Dave Brown says

    Absolutely Mickey. I don’t reckon most players would be in the least bit interested either. Particularly when you look at the likely mismatch between Victoria and any other team.

    Yeah, Ben, I really like that idea. I think the players would get a kick out of it and, no doubt, the local rag would enjoy standing Jacobs and Ebert next to each other in state guernseys on the front and back pages.

  11. Ben Footner says

    The players then get the honour of being an ‘All-South Australian’ as in ‘5 x All-South Australian ruckman Sam Jacobs’ for example.

    While not quite the same as donning the guernsey, it is an accolade that todays players miss out on.

    The SANFL could name it at the Magarey, or even have a separate night for it. Each player gets a framed state guernsey with an inscription. Everyone wins IMO for very little effort or cost.

  12. DBalassone says

    Appreciate the effort Dave to put this together – I’m a bit like Swish – I’ve lost track of who’s from where these days. Would love to see someone put together a WA side; or Tas, NT, NSW & Qld for that matter. I wonder if the NSW team would be pretty darn handy with all those players west of the Barassi line. WA would certainly put together a good team, but the concept just wouldn’t work – there’s too many states competing for the prize. State of Origin is perfect for Rugby b/c only two states play it.
    I object to Tex Walker being selected for SA, but then again, Dunstall played for the Vics in ’89 and Carey for SA in the 90s, so who knows…
    It’s a surprisingly weak SA team, given the last teams I remember were those bloody good SA sides from around 86-93 that had the wood over the Big V.

  13. Such is the persistence of memory that when scanning the team sheet, I was momentarily surprised by the omission of Naley, Platten, Aish etc.

  14. I would like to see Luke Brown and James Aish in there, also Mitch Grigg. The only problem with them is that they played for Tea Tree Gully, Payneham and Athelstone, but I like seeing the 2 Walkerville players in there, Wright and Neale. Nathan Buckley could be the coach because he was born in Adelaide. I have never experienced State of Origin footy, but I have always liked the idea. When I was watching the pre-game last night, I heard a point saying that Victorians are the people who are pushing for it the most so they can win. I still think it is a good idea. It probably wont get through but you should definitely get a guernsey/cap/medal if you make the 22.

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Sadly State Of Origin is done, but really like the idea of each state naming a team and handing out state jumpers at seasons end.
    There’s even plenty of time for these teams and events with the bye week before the finals.

  16. Dave Brown says

    Stynes playing for Victoria was always my favourite ‘huh?’ moment, DBalassone. If no-one else has a dip, I’ll put something down for the other states based upon AFL rankings. Not that it’s going to happen but Vic v the rest is the only way they’d have any competition.

    Almost put an Aish in, Mickey, but my conscience got the better of me.

    Brown unlucky, Aidan. Our preponderance of half back flankers pushing Laird to a back pocket pushed him out. Wright is definitely one of the debatables but Neale is a walk-up start. Pity he doesn’t want to come home.

    Yeah, you’re right Luke – perfect for bye week.

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