Queensland props Petero Civoniceva and Matthew Scott have been withdrawnfrom NRL All Stars voting today because of injuries, with Civonicevaalso likely to miss his first game back with the Broncos in round one ofthe 2012 Telstra Premiership season.
Brisbane football manager Andrew Gee today confirmed Civoniceva, who was a coach’s selection in the NRL All Stars team last year, has a pectoral injury and would not be fit for the 2012 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match at Skilled Park on February 4 and possibly even the club’s season-opener on March 2.
Civoniceva was currently ranked behind team-mate Jack Reed in polling for the one Broncos position on the team and was the second top voted prop behind Scott in the Stage Two public voting process which started on December 27.
Ben Hannant, who played in the winning NRL All Stars team last year, will now replace Civoniceva as one of the four Brisbane “shortlisted” players in the 64-man list.
Scott has returned to training with the Cowboys this week but is still recovering from a back injury he carried through the end-of-season Four Nations tournament. He was the leading North Queensland player in voting, ahead of Brent Tate, and will be replaced on the voting list by Ashton Sims.
The “selectors” have 12 days left to lodge their votes or make changes to their submissions if they have already voted at www.nrl.com/allstars with voting closing on January 18, ahead of the team announcement the next day.
Fans face the challenging task of deciding which of their favourite players to select for NRL All Stars honours as the cut-throat final stage of voting pits team-mates against each other for a prized spot in the third annual All Stars match.
Sharks and NSW captain Paul Gallen is currently the most popular Cronulla player ahead of team-mate Todd Carney, with a thrilling race still on between other team-mates including Jarryd Hayne and Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels); Sam Burgess and David Taylor (Rabbitohs); Tony Williams and Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles); Manu Vatuvei and Shaun Johnson (Warriors); Nate Myles and Luke Bailey (Titans); Jason Nightingale and Ben Creagh (Dragons); and Kade Snowden and Neville Costigan (Knights).
The 16 players chosen by the public (one from each club) will join NRL All Stars captain Benji Marshall and Storm captain Cameron Smith, who are automatic team selections, and two “coach’s picks” by Wayne Bennett in a 20-man squad for the third annual All Stars match.
The Indigenous All Stars, named on December 7, will be coached by Laurie Daley and the line-up includes: Johnathan Thurston (c), Ben Barba, Jharal Yow Yeh, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Nathan Merritt, Chris Sandow, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Travis Waddell, George Rose, Sam Thaiday, Jamal Idris, Greg Bird, Andrew Fifita, Cory Paterson, Matthew Bowden, Scott Prince, Anthony Mitchell, Joel Thompson and Nathan Peats.
Overview of NRL All Stars voting:
- Thefirst player to be chosen in the NRL All Stars team will be the playerwho 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.
- Theopen bench spot will then be replaced by someone from the injuredplayer’s club, with the new player having recorded the second highestnumber of votes from that club, either as a forward, back or utility,depending on the position needed for the bench.
Tickets for the 2012 Harvey Norman All Stars match are still available through Ticketek outlets, on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au. New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849.
All Stars Ticket Categories and Prices
2010 – Indigenous All Stars 16 def NRL All Stars 12
2011 – NRL All Stars 28 def Indigenous All Stars 12.