Four Canberra Raiders stars have been named in the Indigenous and Maori 20-man squads for the All Stars clash in Townsville on Saturday, 20 February.
2020 Dally M Medalist Jack Wighton is the only Raider in the Indigenous All Stars side, while Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Joe Tapine and Bailey Simonnson have been named in the Maori All Stars team.
Wighton has been named out of position for the clash and will play at centre like he did for NSW in State of Origin last year. This will be his sixth appearance for the Indigenous All Stars.
Nicoll-Klokstad will play fullback for the Maori team, with Joe Tapine at lock after a stellar 2020 season in that role and Bailey Simonnson named on an extended bench in the 19 jersey.
The game will be played at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville for the first time, with a 25,000 capacity crowd expected for the pre-season fixture.
Both squads are chock full of talent with the Indigenous side featuring the likes of Rabbitohs big guns Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker, speedster Josh Addo-Carr and Wade Graham.
Raiders legend Laurie Daley will coach the Indigenous side and said he was excited by having those Rabbitohs stars in his team.
“They’re very influential and it’s important to have good leaders for people to follow,” Daley said.
“When they’re in this situation they’re comfortable with their voice. They’ll have a big influence.
“Our strength is the backline so we need to take advantage of that.”
The Maori squad looks extremely strong as they look to repeat last year’s 30-16 victory.
Last year’s best on ground in the All Stars clash Brandon Smith will start at hooker alongside the likes of Joseph Manu, Jesse and Kenneath Bromwich and Jahrome Hughes.
Another big name for the Maori team is recent Rabbitohs signing Benji Marshall who has been included on the bench along with his brother Jeremy Marshall-King.
Maori coach David Kidwell said Marshall was thrilled when told him the news and was excited to get into camp.
“When I phoned Benji and asked if he would like to represent the Indigenous Maori, you could just hear the excitement that came across the line from him,” Kidwell told NRL.com.
“And to also be able to play with his brother Jeremy, which he’s never been able to do before, I think that’s really important and something we did well last year.
“He’s looking forward to getting into camp and using his experience.”
|Indigenous All Stars||Maori All Stars|
|1 Latrell Mitchell||1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad|
|2 Blake Ferguson||2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak|
|3 Jack Wighton||3 Joseph Manu|
|4 Jesse Ramien||4 Dylan Walker|
|5 Josh Addo-Carr||5 Reimis Smith|
|6 Cody Walker||6 Jarome Luai|
|7 Jamal Fogarty||7 Jahrome Hughes|
|8 Andrew Fifita||8 Jesse Bromwich|
|9 Reuben Cotter||9 Brandon Smith|
|10 Josh Kerr||10 James Fisher-Harris|
|11 David Fifita||11 Briton Nikora|
|12 Wade Graham||12 Kenneath Bromwich|
|13 Tyrone Peachey||13 Joseph Tapine|
|14 Alex Johnston||14 Jeremy Marshall-King|
|15 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown||15 Kevin Proctor|
|16 Cade Cust||16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona|
|17 Chris Smith||17 Jordan Riki|
|18 Tyrell Fuimaono||18 Patrick Herbert|
|19 Josh Curren||19 Bailey Simonsson|
|20 Brian Kelly||20 Benji Marshall|
For more sport: