Victoria coach Damien Hardwick has revealed the reason why Luke Shuey was not selected for the State of Origin Bushfire Relief match.
The gun West Coast Eagles midfielder and new club captain was one glaring omission from the Vic squad for next Friday’s clash with the All-Stars but there is a reasonable explanation.
“Well he was in the side, but he was withdrawn late, apparently,” Hardwick said on SEN Breakfast.
“He was in but he was probably the last guy that withdrew and we appreciate the things that go into their preparation. So we understood.”
Shuey’s absence in the Victoria side leaves no Eagles in the ‘Big V’ while Elliot Yeo and Brad Sheppard are set to play for the All-Stars.
Richmond coach Hardwick also explained how the selection criteria was altered to a minimum of one player from each club after the original idea had three players per club being made available across the two sides.
“Myself and ‘Horse’ (John Longmire) got together with ‘Clarko’ (Alastair Clarkson) and a couple of other guys and we spoke about it,” he added.
“We were just wondering which way we wanted to go. Was it an exhibition match or did we want to honour the event to actually be the best of the best?
“We were having the conversation, then Gil (McLachlan) pops his head in and he tended to agree that he wanted to see the best of the best. It’s amazing when the CEO starts nodding his head how quickly things roll.
“Things changed and I think it was a great result. The paying public, for such a great cause, are going to see some terrific players running around on the one park.”
Victoria and the All-Stars will meet at Marvel Stadium next Friday, February 28.
Listen to Hardwick's chat with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson on SEN Breakfast below: