Senior coach Brett Ratten has thrown his support behind star Saints lining up for this year’s State of Origin match.
The amended format of the state-based clash will be held on February 28 at Marvel Stadium in an effort to raise much-needed funds for the bushfire relief.
While there has been some debate surrounding the risk of player injury on the eve of Season 2020, Ratten said he’d be thrilled to see his players represent Victoria or the All Stars.
“From the club’s point of view, we would love as many of our players to play,” Ratten told SEN Breakfast.
“It’s a great experience and a great opportunity to play with the best players and they’ll experience something different.
“I was very fortunate to play in the last Vic game in ’99, so it’s something you’ll always remember and reflect on.”
Ratten represented Victoria in 1996, 1997 and 1999 during his illustrious career at Carlton.
All power will rest with the Saints as to who will line up for State of Origin, with the AFL sending a shortlist of eight players to the club.
St Kilda will in turn decide which players are available for selection.
“The players will be playing a game anyway, so why not play with the best or be with the best for that day,” Ratten said.
The Saints will face Hawthorn and Collingwood in weeks one and three of the Marsh Community Series, before facing the Hawks again in-between encounters for a special match in Morwell in support of the bushfire relief.
St Kilda recently launched the Saints Bushfire Appeal, with exclusive experiences, memorabilia and rewards up for auction.
All proceeds will go towards organisations supporting in the immediate and subsequent relief efforts for those affected by the bushfires.