The first person Kierran Moseley called yesterday when he was told of his selection as a bolter in the Indigenous All Stars match was his grandfather Kevin Major who is ill in hospital in Townsville. It would have been a healthy tonic for his grand-dad who has proudly watched Kierran’s emergence in the NRL’s lower grades.
The 21-year-old hooker was one of five Titans chosen in the Indigenous side, alongside Greg Bird, Ryan James, Josh Hoffman and Brad Tighe, while Dave Taylor is on the bench in the NRL All Stars.
There would have been a good deal of celebration in the north-west Queensland town of Cloncurry and surrounds today, not just among the Mitakoodi tribe that Kierran represents, but all who have seen the a quiet, respectful young man develop in the past few years.
“It’s too hard to believe to be amongst all those players like Johnathan Thurston [his boyhood hero] and Greg Inglis,” said Moseley soon after learning of his selection. “I’m looking forward to it and I’m really excited.
“This is the biggest honour in rugby league, along with making my NRL debut (for Penrith last season).
“Growing up as an Indigenous kid in the country you didn’t think you’d ever be in this position and playing with some of my heroes. I’ve watched all the All Stars games on TV and been wanting to get one but never been able to.
“I’m sure every Indigenous player dreams of playing it that game one day.
“The first person called was my grand-dad, then mum and then my brother. I’m very close to grand-dad, very close to him and always given me advice and he was very proud.”
Ryan James will represent the Indigenous All Stars for a third time and he proudly wears the jersey and enjoys working in the community each time. His mother’s side of the family are Bundjalong people from northern NSW.
“Obviously for me, growing up on the Tweed and the Gold Coast, it’s an opportunity to represent my family and friends and doing it on the Gold Coast is more special,” he said of the match that returns to Cbus Super Stadium.
“It’s great to play with the best of the best, like Johnathan Thurston, Justin Hodges, Greg Inglis and Birdy also in that sort of environment; it is a great opportunity for any player. It will be a great experience to share it with so many Titans teammates too.
“It’s good to see how professional they are on and off the field, they’re way bigger role models than most other players, so to see how they conduct themselves on and off the field gives you a real insight into what impact they have in the community.”
Hoffman, who grew up in Mackay, has now represented his father’s country of birth (New Zealand) and his mother’s culture as well with his first selection in the Indigenous team.
“I’m thankful for fans and my family back home for voting for me, and I am very humbled to represent my mother’s side of the family after also representing my father’s side; it’s very special to me,” he said. Among his teammates will be cousin Dane Gagai and another Mackay product in Ben Barba.
“It’s a dream come true to play with players like JT and GI. I know the game will be very fast too, and that’s the type of football I like to play.”
For Moseley and Hoffman it will be their first games on the Gold Coast since becoming Titans players.
PHOTO: Our All Stars posed for this at training today (from left): Ryan James, Josh Hoffman, Dave Taylor, Kierran Moseley, Brad Tighe. Absent: Greg Bird.