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 and Centre Line, here is the Half-Forward Line, which includes two of SA’s greatest Indigenous players either side of one of the most versatile and durable Croweaters to play in the AFL.
There’s many places Richmond star Shane Edwards could line-up for the West End State of Origin side but he will start at half-forward before having some bursts through the centre square. The dual premiership Tiger is a class act, using his naturally clean hands in the contest to his advantage while often producing a passage of play only a handful of players could muster. The 31-year-old has improved his consistency dramatically in the latter part of his career, to the point he finished runner-up in the Jack Dyer Medal behind Dion Prestia last year. Beginning his career with the Golden Grove Kookaburras before making his SANFL League debut with North in Round 8 2006, he has now played 256 AFL matches.
Port Adelaide’s durable veteran, Justin Westhoff, will play his familiar role of Mr Fixit for the West End State of Origin side. In need of a strong marking target who can push up the ground, the Croweaters will benefit from the 33-year-old’s versatility. Originally from Tanunda FC in the Barossa, Westhoff has still been producing in the twilight of his career, earning the John Cahill Medal in 2018 and featuring in 20 of his 268 AFL matches last year. The Central District draftee, who measures in at 199cm and 96kg, can also pinch-hit in the ruck.
The four-time premiership star, with a mammoth 377 AFL games to his name, completes an incredibly experienced half-forward line for the West End State of Origin team. Burgoyne, who was heavily courted by Gold Coast at the end of last year, is still very much a valued performer for Hawthorn despite his birth certificate suggesting he will turn 38 in October. The man known as ”silk” knows where the goals are and is an exceptional field kick while being able to negotiate his way in and out of traffic. Joins Eddie Betts as being another Mallee Park marvel to be selected for the Croweaters.