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All-Australian squad of 44 named: Max Gawn headlines notable omissions

Brownlow Medal fancy Marcus Bontempelli was one of the stars named in the All-Australian 44-man squad. Picture: AAP.

Prized Fremantle recruit Luke Jackson has emerged as an outside chance for an All-Australian berth after edging his former mentor Max Gawn for a spot in the extended 44-player squad.

Gawn, GWS defender Sam Taylor and Richmond midfielder Tim Taranto were conspicuous exclusions when the extended All-Australian squad was unveiled on Monday.

Minor premiers Collingwood were best represented with five players - Jordan De Goey, Nick Daicos, Josh Daicos, Darcy Moore and Isaac Quaynor.

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli, Richmond veteran Dustin Martin and Geelong defender Tom Stewart are each in line for a potential fifth All-Australian selection.

Every team had at least one representative, with wooden spooners West Coast represented by Oscar Allen (53 goals) and cellar dwellers North Melbourne by Nick Larkey (71 goals).

Melbourne's ruck experiment with Gawn and former Magpie Brodie Grundy hasn't functioned this year, and that may have been what cost Gawn a shot at a sixth All-Australian berth.

Gawn averaged 16.4 possessions and 24.9 hitouts per game this season to go along with his 10 goals, but it wasn't enough to earn him a nod.

Instead, St Kilda's Rowan Marshall, Western Bulldogs star Tim English, and first-year Docker Jackson will battle it out for what is expected to be two ruck spots. Jackson won a premiership at Melbourne playing second fiddle to Gawn.

The 21-year-old became an integral part of Fremantle's ruck and forward-line set-up this season, averaging 15 disposals, 17.7 hitouts and 2.6 clearances, to go with his 22 goals.

Jackson took his game to an even higher level as the team's No.1 ruckman when Sean Darcy succumbed to a season-ending ankle injury in round 18, producing a series of huge performances.

Taylor was a rock in defence for GWS this season, but the fact he only played 15 matches counted heavily against him.

Taranto averaged 28.8 possessions and 6.17 clearances per game in his first season at the Tigers.

But it wasn't enough to earn him a berth in the extended squad ahead of players including Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore, Zak Butters, Stephen Coniglio, Patrick Cripps, Nick Daicos, Zach Merrett, Lachie Neale, Caleb Serong, Connor Rozee, Christian Petracca, Jordan Dawson, Tom Green, Noah Anderson and Errol Gulden.

Geelong spearhead Jeremy Cameron (53 goals) was overlooked, as was Gryan Miers despite breaking Jason Akermanis' long-standing record for most goal assists in a season.

The final 22-man All-Australian team will be announced at the AFL's awards night on Wednesday.

The 2023 All-Australian selection panel comprised AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan (chair), Eddie Betts, Jude Bolton, Nathan Buckley, Kane Cornes, Andrew Dillon, Glen Jakovich, Laura Kane, Cameron Ling and Matthew Pavlich.


Adelaide: Jordan Dawson, Taylor Walker

Brisbane: Harris Andrews, Charlie Cameron, Joe Daniher, Lachie Neale

Carlton: Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, Jacob Weitering 

Collingwood: Josh Daicos, Nick Daicos, Jordan De Goey, Darcy Moore, Isaac Quaynor

Essendon: Kyle Langford, Zach Merrett, Mason Redman, 

Fremantle: Luke Jackson, Caleb Serong, Luke Ryan

Geelong: Tom Stewart 

Gold Coast: Noah Anderson

GWS: Stephen Coniglio, Tom Green, Toby Greene

Hawthorn: Luke Breust, Jai Newcombe, James Sicily

Melbourne: Christian Petracca, Jack Viney

North Melbourne: Nick Larkey

Port Adelaide: Zak Butters, Dan Houston, Connor Rozee

Richmond: Dustin Martin

St Kilda: Rowan Marshall, Jack Sinclair, Callum Wilkie

Sydney: Nick Blakey, Errol Gulden

West Coast: Oscar Allen

Western Bulldogs: Marcus Bontempelli, Tim English, Tom Liberatore


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