Four Aquis Gold Coast Titans players were today selected to take part in the Harvey Norman All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium on February 13.
Ryan James (pictured playing in the 2015 clash), Greg Bird and Tyrone Roberts have been chosen in the Indigenous All Stars line-up while Nene Macdonald, a PNG representative, is on the bench in the World All Stars squad, alongside some of the game’s biggest international names.
It is the first time a World All Stars team has been chosen to take on the reigning champion Indigenous All Stars team. The World side will include Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Semi Radradra, James Graham and Martin Taupau.
Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley and World All Stars coach Wayne Bennett named their teams in Brisbane today, with both expecting the match to be one of the best in the six years of the match.
Daley said his team would again be headed by Johnathan Thurston and Greg Inglis but would also include emerging stars including Chris Grevsmuhl and Jack Wighton.
“This is such a special game for our players,” Daley said. “The online voting and competition for positions was so intense – and the players want to be part of this match.
“We have picked a strong side full of players who have represented at the highest level for years.
“And it never hurts to have the Dally M player of the year and grand final hero as your captain!”
Bennett was full of praise for his side.
“The extended option to pick a World All Stars team means our fans will get the chance to see two high quality teams in the 2016 event,” Bennett said.
“It is a new challenge for these guys to be playing alongside each other rather than against and one that I am sure they will relish.”
James and Bird have become fixtures in the Indigenous All Stars. This will be James’ fourth appearance, and Bird’s fifth. Roberts debuted last season.
Macdonald’s inclusion in the World side shows his status as one of the bright new talents in the NRL. He is a representative for PNG, the country of his birth. He has played four Tests for the Kumuls, including the 2013 World Cup campaign.
Tickets are on sale now at www.nrl.com/tickets, with prices starting at $20 for an adult and $50 for a family pass.
Fans can purchase their All Stars merchandise at www.nrlshop.com and click on ‘teams’.
For all the details on the week-long celebration and match, head to www.nrl.com/allstars.
Both teams will be in Brisbane in the week leading up to the match, with a range of community activities planned, including an Indigenous Youth Summit and open fan sessions to meet players.