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Rory Laird earns All Australian honours

Rory Laird: All Australian Rory Laird has been selected in 2018 All Australian team.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Rory Laird of the Crows and partner arrive during the 2018 Virgin Australia All Australian Awards at the Palais Theatre on August 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Rory Laird of the Crows and partner arrive during the 2018 Virgin Australia All Australian Awards at the Palais Theatre on August 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

Rory Laird has been selected in the 2018 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team for a second straight season.

Laird was named in a back pocket at a ceremony at Melbourne's Palais Theatre on Wednesday night.

"Massive honour to get the second one after last year," Laird said.

"I think this year's been a really consistent year for me and just seeing the other blokes that are up here, I'm stoked to be up here."

He took his game to another level in 2018 to be the second highest ranked defender in the game behind Sydney’s Jake Lloyd according to Champion Data.

The 24-year-old was prolific across his 20 games, averaging 32.2 disposals per game at 77.6 per cent efficiency. 

After eight weeks, Laird had collected 274 disposals, the highest tally after eight rounds of any AFL season. He had 14 games of 30 or more disposals and only dipped below 25 touches on one occasion.

Despite missing two weeks in the middle of the year, Laird ranked sixth in the AFL for total disposals (644), fifth for handball receives (289) and 10th for rebound 50s (100). He also ranked eighth in the League for average loose ball gets (4.7 per game).

Laird also ranked third at the Crows for metres gained (8523) behind wingman Paul Seedsman and midfielder Bryce Gibbs.

12 separate clubs were represented in the 2018 team, with 10 maiden All Australians selected. Minor premiers Richmond supplied four players, while Hawthorn and West Coast each had three included. 

Sydney's Lance Franklin, who earned his eighth All Australian selection, was named captain with Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield his deputy.

The All Australian selection panel is Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Danny Frawley, Steve Hocking, Glen Jakovich, Chris Johnson, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson and Warren Tredrea.