It’s been nearly 20 years since the last AFL State of Origin match. It was 1999, the MCG, Victoria versus South Australia.
Things have changed since then. The shorts are titch longer, Dermott Brereton is (unfortunately) no longer sporting a mullet, and THERE’S A WOMEN’S LEAGUE NOW.
And it’s the ladies of the NAB AFLW that will be reviving the classic state-versus-state format at Etihad Stadium this evening.
Well, technically state versus lots of other states, because it will be Victoria, captained by Daisy Pearce, taking on the Allies, a team of the league’s best players from everywhere else around the country.
That team will be coached by Bec Goddard and captained by Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall.
“Bec has done an extremely good job of bringing groups together from different parts of the country… and it should be an extraordinary contest,” Allies captain Chelsea Randall told AFL.com.au.
A number of the women will be facing off against their teammates tonight, but 29-year-old Pearce says none of that will matter once the siren sounds
"Once you're out there I don't think [club mateships] come into it. It's just, 'Try and win the contest, try and win the ball'," she said.
"But what an opportunity. All the banter is pretty light-hearted and we're looking forward to getting out there and playing with the best of the best."