Indigenous All Stars voting now open
Monday 10 December 2012 2:26 PM
Fans face the dual challenge of deciding which of their favourite players to select for NRL All Stars and Indigenous All Stars honours as the cut-throat final public stage of voting was launched today (Dec 10) for the 2013 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars.
Fans can cut through NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett's 64-man shortlist at www.nrl.com/allstars, choosing their favourites for a prized spot in the fourth annual All Stars match to be held at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium for the first time on February 9.
More than 15,700 had their say in Stage One of voting online for the NRL All Stars team to determine the shortlist for the final stage of public voting, with Sea Eagles Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough picked as Manly's representatives.
Fans have until January 14 to cut that to16, with only one player from each club eligible for Bennett’s NRL All Stars; while fans can choose from Rugby League’s best Indigenous talent for Laurie Daley’s Indigenous All Stars.
Both coaches will be able to select additional bench players to complement the 16-man teams chosen by the public to make up a 20-man squad, with Bennett able to select two extras alongside automatic selections Benji Marshall (New Zealand captain) and Cameron Smith (Australian captain).
Daley will pick three extra players in addition to automatic selection and Indigenous All Stars captain Johnathan Thurston and the 16 public selections.
NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett said: “It’s important we have the best players in the game in the team.
“My tip for the public selectors, who have always delivered an excellent team for me to work with, is to think about the key positions first – halfback, five-eighth, hooker and fullback.
“Given two of those spots are already covered with Benji Marshall (five-eighth) and Cameron Smith (hooker) as automatic selections, I would look at filling the halfback spot first, then fullback because there are so many quality options to choose from.
“You have the likes of Josh Dugan, who has done a good job the past two years; Jarryd Hayne, who is more than up to it at fullback after missing out with injury in previous years; and the talented Billy Slater, but he will no doubt be locked in a battle with Cooper Cronk for the one Storm spot.”
Bennett has now assigned the following positions to the 64 shortlisted players and has asked fans to consider his guide below when choosing their NRL All Stars team.
The Sea Eagles players have been assigned the following positions:
Brett Stewart - Fullback
Jamie Lyon - Outside back
Glenn Stewart - Edge forward
Anthony Watmough - Edge forward/ Tight forward
Guide to Wayne Bennett's Positional Selections
Backs have been divided into three separate groups:
- Fullback – Specialist role
- Outside Back – Includes centres and wings
- Inside Back – A player who can play five-eighth or halfback
Forwards have also been divided into three categories:
- Tight Forwards – A player who plays front-row and also second-row
- Edge Forwards – A second-rower or lock that can play on both the right and left side edge of a team’s attack and defence
- Hooker – Specialist role
Bennett is also asking the fans to consider:
- Players marked as utility players have been designated on the basis of their ability to cover multiple positions
- The seven-man bench will require two Tight Forwards, one Edge Forward, one Inside Back, one Outside Back, two Utilities.?
Tickets for the 2013 Harvey Norman All Stars match are available through Ticketek outlets, on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au. New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849.