“In 2008, Josh Fraser did his PCL in this game. We lost our No.1 ruckman for the second half of the year, going into a finals campaign as well. So I can see both sides of the story,” Pendlebury said on Thursday.
“But I think the most important people are the fans, and if they really enjoy it, they really embrace the game, the players want to put their hand up to play, then it’s something that hopefully can get up. Collingwood plays Richmond in Wangaratta on Sunday. Someone could get hurt there [too].”
Dual Richmond premiership captain Trent Cotchin has been unveiled as Victorian captain for the match, while Fremantle superstar and skipper Nat Fyfe will lead the All-Stars.
Tigers spearhead Jack Riewoldt will play for the All-Stars and suggested he could see a future for the origin concept.
“It’s going to be a great test case for what state of origin footy could look like going forward,” Riewoldt said.
The match also pits rivals Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli and Greater Western Sydney dynamo Toby Greene on the same Victorian side less than six months after Greene was fined for “serious misconduct” after a run-in with Bontempelli during the finals.
But the pair exchanged pleasantries when the Victorian camp convened on Thursday.
“I had a good chat with him just before and it was all good,” Greene said.
However just because he is playing for the home team, the antagonistic Greene isn’t totally convinced he will be cheered by Victorian fans on Friday night.
“We’ll see how we go. I still might get a few boos from the Bulldogs supporters, that’s fine. But nah, really looking forward to it. It’ll be a great opportunity.”
Greene’s Giants and Victorian teammate Jeremy Cameron was anticipating a robust affair.
“Both teams definitely want to win so we’d love to punch them up a bit and get the win. Hopefully there’s a lot of goals kicked and it’s a really good spectacle as it’s for a really good cause,” Cameron said.
But Greene joked that he would be reluctant to run through GWS skipper Stephen Coniglio, who will line up for the All-Stars on Friday night.
“I won’t touch him, no,” Greene said.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter