Fans called to help select 2013 NRL All Stars
Monday 29 October 2012 11:41 AM
Rugby League fans are being called on to play selector for Wayne Bennett, with voting now open for the 2013 NRL All Stars team to be spearheaded by rival Townsville Test captains Cameron Smith and Benji Marshall.
While on opposing teams in their final match of the 2012 season in the Australia Vs New Zealand Test in Townsville tomorrow, they will team up in the first official game of 2013, the fourth annual Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on February 9.
As NRL All Stars captain and Kiwis skipper, Marshall is an automatic selection in the 20-man NRL All Stars squad with Kangaroos and Storm captain Cameron Smith as the Australian team’s automatic selection.
The public now take on the role of selector and will vote on the 16 players to join Marshall and Smith in Stage One of online voting. An additional two players will be selected by Bennett at the completion of Stage Two voting in January.
Fans have until December 10 to be a selector in the first stage of voting at www.nrl.com/allstars. They must choose two forwards and two backs from each of the 16 NRL Clubs to form a shortlist for Bennett to then refine his team for Stage Two of the voting.
“The All Stars is an incredibly important event on the Rugby League calendar as it showcases all the great things about our game from amazing skills and athleticism to inclusiveness, spirit and passion,” Bennett said.
“It is a very fitting way to kick off the 2013 pre-season. Now in its fourth year, the match has not lost any of its appeal to me as a coach; to the players who see it as a great honour to represent their people; and to the wider community who watch it live or on Channel Nine.”
At the completion of Stage One voting, Bennett will place the 64 players chosen into his preferred positions, as well as outline the make-up of the bench positions.
Currently our top polling players are Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Michael Jennings and Lachlan Coote.
Stage Two of voting will commence December 10, where the public have the challenge of selecting just one player from each of the 16 NRL Clubs to join Marshall’s side.
Bennett and the NRL All Stars coaching staff select the remaining two players to form the final 20-man squad.
Overview of NRL All Stars voting:
· The first player to be chosen in the NRL All Stars team will be the player who scores the highest number of overall votes in a position.
· Once a player from one club is placed in the team, no other player from that club can be selected.
· If a player withdraws from the team due to injury, he will be replaced by someone from the bench.
· The open bench spot will then be replaced by someone from the injured player’s club, depending on the position needed for the bench.
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.