Hardwick 'avoids' Prestia after Vic snub

Richmond's Shane Edwards (L) and Bachar Houli line up in the Victorian and All-Stars AFL jumpers.
Richmond's Shane Edwards (L) and Bachar Houli line up in the Victorian and All-Stars AFL jumpers.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has been "avoiding" star Tigers midfielder Dion Prestia after not picking him for the AFL's bushfire relief match.

Nine of the top 10 from last year's Brownlow Medal count, including winner Nat Fyfe, will take to the field in the State of Origin-style clash between Victoria and the All Stars on February 28 at Marvel Stadium.

After playing off for the premiership in 2019, Richmond and GWS naturally dominated Tuesday's team selections with six players named from each club.

But Hardwick was unable to find room for Richmond's reigning best-and-fairest winner when selecting his Victorian squad.

"I avoided Dion like you wouldn't believe this week," Hardwick told 3AW.

"It's so hard. It was amazing when you sit there and try to piece together a side. The quality of the players we've got in this league is staggering.

"The players that were left out I felt incredibly embarrassed about."

Two-time Norm Smith medallist Dustin Martin will be joined in the Big V line-up by Tigers teammates Trent Cotchin, Bachar Houli and Tom Lynch, while Shane Edwards and Jack Riewoldt will play for the All Stars.

GWS captain Stephen Coniglio will play for the All Stars and face off against Giants teammates Jeremy Cameron, Nick Haynes, Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly and Toby Greene, who will all represent Victoria.

Carlton (Patrick Cripps), Essendon (Adam Saad), Gold Coast (Lachie Weller) and Melbourne (Neville Jetta) will have just one player each in the match.

While Hardwick is leading Victoria, Sydney coach John Longmire is in charge of the All Stars.

Longmire said there wouldn't be time to implement any tactical nous, with the squads only coming together a day before the match.

"We're all mindful that the reason we are there is to support the bushfire appeal, so that's the critical cause," Longmire told AAP.

"They'll be playing the game how they normally play the game - and there won't be a lot of coaching.

"I won't be saying much to Patty Cripps and how he should go at a stoppage, because I think he knows what to do."

Stars such as Max Gawn, Lance Franklin, Tom Mitchell, Joel Selwood, Isaac Heeney and Jeremy McGovern were unavailable for selection due to injury.

Geelong great Gary Ablett, entering his 19th and final AFL season, won't be involved in the match.

West Coast big names Nic Naituani and Tim Kelly, as well as Sydney captains Josh Kennedy, Dane Rampe and Luke Parker, are other notable absentees.

It will be the first AFL representative game since 2008 when Victoria played a Dream Team in a Hall of Fame tribute match.

Victoria: Rory Sloane, Stefan Martin, Darcy Moore, Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom, Adam Saad, Mark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield, Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene, Nick Haynes, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, James Sicily, Ben Cunnington, Todd Goldstein, Shaun Higgins, Robbie Gray, Trent Cotchin, Bachar Houli, Tom Lynch, Dustin Martin, Jade Gresham, Jake Lloyd, Tom Papley, Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae.

All Stars: Rory Laird, Brodie Smith, Taylor Walker, Harris Andrews, Charlie Cameron, Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko, Patrick Cripps, Brodie Grundy, Jeremy Howe, Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, Tom Hawkins, Zach Tuohy, Lachie Weller, Stephen Coniglio, Luke Breust, Isaac Smith, Neville Jetta, Scott Lycett, Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Bradley Hill, Callum Mills, Brad Sheppard, Elliot Yeo, Jason Johannisen.

Australian Associated Press