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I'll try not to tear up, says proud Kelly

First-time All Stars selection Brian Kelly's trademark grin emerged when he discovered he had been selected in Indigenous All Stars side one February 20 in Townsville.

Kelly has been included in the 20-man squad to play the Maori All Stars in Townsville after three years of being on the cusp of selection.

While he's likely to come off the interchange bench for Laurie Daley's outfit, Kelly is more than happy to take advantage of the unlimited interchanges in play.

" I also haven't played with Jack Wighton either so I'm looking forward to that as well.

"There are a few other faces I've played with like Latrell in the under 20s … it's just an exciting line-up and I'm looking forward to the camp.

"At first I didn't even know I was in the side. I was kicking back at a pool resort and got told I was 20th man so thought 'sweet, deadly'.

"I'm super proud to be named in the team and represent my tribe and community from back home.

"I'll definitely get some goosebumps and I'll try not to tear up."

A proud Bundjalung man, Kelly has been a fan of the All Stars concept since its inception in 2010.

He has often recalled his fondest memory of driving from his hometown Ballina to the Gold Coast as a teenager for the inaugural event.

"And when Wendell [Sailor] grabbed the corner post as a didgeridoo and Presto [Preston Campbell] was there as well," Kelly said.

"Even doing the school camps with some other players when they first had the All Stars ... I can't wait for the day to come."


Kelly and his Titans teammates have recently returned from a three-day pre-season camp in Kingscliff as they ramp up preparations for their main trial game against the Warriors in Lismore.

For Northern Rivers Kelly, the trial will mark another pre-season event close to his family's heart.

"I was sitting at home in Mum's house and the ad for the game came on and my big head popped up and everyone was screaming at the TV.

"My nieces and nephews are always yelling 'uncle Bud' when I'm on the TV ... to have an NRL game in Lismore is exciting and I've definitely had a few ticket requests, I'm already booked out.

"Trials are a good gauge as to how your body is feeling and where you've pulled up after the pre-season."