By ZAC MILBANK
South Australians loved nothing more than seeing the treasured West End State of Origin guernsey sported by our best footballers on the national stage.
While this is sadly a thing of the past in the modern era, there’s still plenty of intrigue as to how the Croweaters might line-up if this year’s best South Aussies were assembled to tackle the Big V or the Sandgropers.
So here it is, courtesy of loyal State Team sponsor West End, we are releasing the 2020 West End State of Origin Team line-by-line.
After releasing the Interchange, Back Line, Half-Back Line, Centre Line and Half-Forward Line, here is the Forward Line which includes two dynamic talents either side of a premiership bigman who can also be thrown into the ruck.
There’s not too many more exciting prospects in the AFL than Port Adelaide’s Connor Rozee. The North Adelaide draftee enjoyed an eye-catching debut season at elite level, kicking 29 goals for the Power while averaging 15 disposals and four tackles playing predominantly in attack. Incredibly athletic, the 20-year-old is also extremely elusive and uses the ball well by hand and foot. Yet to seriously test himself in the midfield but in time, he could explode into one of the game’s superstars if given that opportunity. The South Augusta junior can also play across half-back, a role he performed impressively for the Roosters during the 2018 SANFL League finals series.
Without a genuine key forward, the West End State of Origin team will use Lycett as the focal point to kick to inside 50m. The premiership bigman has a clean pair of hands overhead and is also quite agile for someone standing 203cm once the ball hits the ground. Originally from the Eyre Peninsula, Lycett chose to return to Alberton for last year’s campaign after enjoying a career-best season for West Coast while claiming the 2018 premiership. Now the first-choice ruckman for the Power, the 27-year-old will act as the second ruck for the Croweaters.
Wingard adds more class and unpredictability to the forward mix of the West End State of Origin team. The sharp-shooter endured a tough first season with Hawthorn in 2019 due to injury but we all know what he’s capable of having booted 247 goals from his 162 AFL games since 2012. An All-Australian in 2013, Wingard is a reliable set shot while also being able to produce a freakish finish as evidenced in the clip below of him slotting a checkside from the boundary while playing for SA’s U18 team in 2011. The 26-year-old is a very strong mark overhead for his height of 183cm, making him difficult to match up on.
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