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Billings named in 22under22 team

Josh Gabelich  September 14, 2017 9:28 AM

St Kilda young gun Jack Billings averaged 23.1 disposals across 22 games in 2017.

St Kilda young gun Jack Billings averaged 23.1 disposals across 22 games in 2017.

Emerging St Kilda star Jack Billings has been named in the 22under22 side at the AFL Players’ Association MVP awards, following a breakout season by the classy forward in 2017.

Young midfielders Jack Steele and Jack Sinclair were included in the 40-man squad after their career-best seasons, but were squeezed out of the final 22.

Billings, who the Saints recruited with their precious No. 3 pick in 2013, established himself as a critical component in St Kilda’s attack this season, averaging 23.1 disposals, 8.3 score involvements, 4.0 inside 50s, to go with 23.36 from 22 games.

Kingsley: When Billings gets the ball, things happen

Essendon (Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett and Orazio Fantasia) and Sydney (Tom Papley, Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills) had the most representatives with three each, while Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Hawthorn each had two.

Western Bulldogs premiership hero Marcus Bontempelli was named as captain for the second consecutive year, while Essendon young gun Zach Merrett was named vice-captain.

Bombers half-back Andrew McGrath, who won this year’s Rising Star award, was the only first-year player named in the side.

22under22 Team
B: Andrew McGrath (Essendon), Harris Andrews (Brisbane), Callum Mills (Sydney)
HB: Jayden Hunt (Melbourne), Jake Lever (Adelaide), Ryan Burton (Hawthorn)
C: Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs), Clayton Oliver (Melbourne), Josh Kelly (GWS)
HF: Jack Billings (St Kilda), Charlie Curnow (Carlton), Jack Martin (Gold Coast)
F: Orazio Fantasia (Essendon), Eric Hipwood (Brisbane), Tom Papley (Sydney)
FOLL: Peter Wright (Gold Coast), Zach Merrett (Essendon), Matt Crouch (Adelaide)
I/C: James Sicily (Hawthorn), Isaac Heeney (Sydney), Ollie Wines (Port Adelaide), Daniel Rioli (Richmond)