The Sporting News 2022 Rolling All-Australian Team
|FB||Tom Stewart (GEE)||Steven May (MEL)||James Sicily (HAW)|
|HB||Sam Docherty (CAR)||Mark Blicavs (GEE)||Jack Sinclair (STK)|
|C||Hugh McCluggage (BRIS)||Patrick Cripps (C) (CAR)||Ed Langdon (MEL)|
|HF||Shai Bolton (RICH)||Tom Lynch (RICH)||Charlie Curnow (CAR)|
|FF||Charlie Cameron (BRIS)||Tom Hawkins (GEE)||Jack Higgins (STK)|
|R||Max Gawn (VC) (MEL)||Clayton Oliver (MEL)||Lachie Neale (BRIS)|
|INT||Christian Petracca (MEL)||Callum Mills (SYD)||Bailey Smith (WB)|
|Griffin Logue (FRE)|
Just ticking over a third of the way through season 2022, we thought it’d be interesting to see what the best 22 would look like if the season stopped now.
Reigning premiers Melbourne have the most in the side with five, which include Brownlow fancies Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca.
Captain Max Gawn also looks set to receive his sixth AA jacket and fifth in a row as the standout ruckman of the competition, while Demon winger Ed Langdon finally recognised for the work he does. Steven May also makes it back-to-back All-Australians.
Carlton’s rise to finals contention, led by skipper Patrick Cripps, sees their side with the second equal-most, as Sam Docherty’s season off halfback has been nothing short of amazing given his traumatic off-season setbacks and Charlie Curnow’s on-field performances coming off a string of injuries has him placed second in the Coleman.
Cripps is tipped to take home the game’s highest individual honour come season’s end and could lead the Navy Blues to the promised land that is September.
Despite their pre-season critics, Geelong are still thereabouts in the race to the finals in 2022, as key forward Tom Hawkins continues to get better with age. His partner-in-crime Jeremy Cameron is unlucky to miss out, but teammates Tom Stewart and Mark Blicavs are deemed AA worthy for their efforts.
Surprising names include two of St Kilda’s ‘Jacks’ in Sinclair and Higgins. The Saints have exceeded expectations with their performances in 2022 and look like genuine contenders, as their improvements have mimicked the advancements in these two players.
Fremantle’s Griffin Logue would also shock footy fans, however the young gun has been significant to the Dockers’ rise this year and is a key pillar in their defensive line-up.
Callum Mills (Syd), Bailey Smith (WB), James Sicily (Haw) and Hugh McCluggage (Bris) are all first-time inclusions into the side. McCluggage has been a part of the 40-man squad in recent years and finally makes the jump into the starting line-up while midfielders Mills and Smith have taken #1 spot at their respective clubs in the middle.
Sicily’s return to form after injury has proven just how pivotal he is to the Hawthorn line-up, with his strength in ground position and ball-use key features of his game.
Lively forwards Shai Bolton and Charlie Cameron were preferred over other smalls given their scoring ability and creativity as well as defensive pressure around the ball.
Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale returns to the side in what potentially appears to be a better season than the 2020 year that saw him take home Charlie.
Have we got it right? We missing anyone?