AAP AFL

Rep football boosts AFL players: Longmire

By AAP Newswire

All Stars mentor John Longmire has praised AFL coaches' unanimous support for the bushfire relief match as the push for State of Origin to return gathers momentum.

Longmire will coach the All Stars in their one-off game against Victoria on February 28, when the nation's best descend on Marvel Stadium to help raise funds for those affected by the national bushfire crisis.

The cause resulted in all of Longmire's counterparts offering their best players and any assistance possible.

Competition was even fierce to get into the coaches' box, with Longmire revealing "every coach I spoke to said they would love to be involved".

It begs the question as to whether Origin, which hasn't been staged in any form since 1999 apart from a Hall of Fame tribute match in 2008, could return as a regular part of the AFL calendar.

GWS captain Stephen Coniglio declared on Tuesday it is definitely worth pursuing, while Adelaide's Rory Laird expressed similar sentiments.

Longmire cautioned he was "the wrong person to ask and the reality is it's not my decision", but freely admitted there is an immense upside to representative football of any description.

"I've spoken to our senior players about what it was like to play AFLX. Even though that wasn't as big as what this is, it was certainly an experience they enjoyed," Longmire told AAP.

"They loved that chance to play with players from other clubs and some of the AFL's best.

"That makes you reflect and you remember how good it was to play Origin, even just to run out at training or sit in the same changing room (as greats from other clubs).

"You've got to give those opportunities, if you're able to, to the new generation coming through."

The 2012 premiership coach, who grew up on a Balldale farm near the Murray River, remarkably represented both Victoria and NSW in Origin contests during 1990.

Longmire joked his pre-match address to the All Stars would be showing highlights of the famous 1990 upset, when his eight-goal haul helped NSW cause a boilover against a star-studded Victoria.

"The late great Teddy Whitten was heavily involved and he wasn't happy that night. I don't know who the equivalent of Teddy is this year for the Vics, but we'll have to wait and see whether they're happy or not," he said.

Sydney's coach stressed it was important everybody remembers why next week's game is being held.

"We had to cut short a couple of training sessions because of the smoke. We just got on with it. It's nothing compared to what a lot of people went through," he said.