Gawn All-Australian captain, Dees dominate

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Minor premiers Melbourne headline the All-Australian team, with five Demons players slotting into the AFL's best 22 and ruckman Max Gawn named captain.

Star veterans Lance Franklin (Sydney) and David Mundy (Fremantle) miss out after being selected in the initial 40-man squad but it was a golden night for the Demons as they chase their first premiership since 1964.

Gawn collected his fourth straight All-Australian blazer, and fifth overall, as he was named as the starting ruckman, with West Coast star Nic Naitanui left to claim a bench spot.

Demons star Steven May was named fullback for the first time, joined by teammate and fellow All-Australian debutant Jake Lever in a back-pocket.

Brownlow Medal fancies Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca were Melbourne's other representatives.

Only seven players - Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Hawkins, Jack Macrae, Naitanui, Petracca, Gawn and Steele - retained their spot from last year's team.

Selectors, who included AFL greats Matthew Richardson, Nick Riewoldt and Kevin Bartlett, chose 11 debutants.

Port Adelaide's Aliir Aliir became the first South Sudanese player to make the team, selected at centre-half-back in his first season with the Power after crossing from Sydney at the end of last year.

Coleman medallist Harry McKay was predictably named at full-forward, while his young Carlton teammate Sam Walsh and Port midfield bull Ollie Wines earned their first All-Australian blazers.

Brisbane veteran Daniel Rich was the Lions' sole representative, making the team for the first time in his 13th AFL season.

Sydney dynamo Tom Papley was preferred to Rich's Brisbane teammate Charlie Cameron for a forward pocket spot.

Tireless Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller and Essendon Darcy Parish, who enjoyed a breakout season, were worthy inclusions on the bench.


B: J Lever (Melb), S May (Melb), T Stewart (Geel)

HB: D Rich (BL), A Aliir (Port), B Dale (Dogs)

C: Z Merrett (Ess), O Wines (Port), S Walsh (Carl)

HF: C Petracca (Melb), T Hawkins (Geel), M Bontempelli (Dogs, VC)

F: T Papley (Swans), H McKay (Carl), T Greene (GWS)

Ruck: M Gawn (Melb, capt), J Macrae (Dogs), C Oliver (Melb)

IC: J Steele (St K), N Naitanui (WCE), T Miller (Suns), D Parish (Ess)

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