Nigel Wall, NRL.com
Showing emotion on the football field isn’t a part of the rugby league handbook – but that didn’t stop livewire playmaker Chris Sandow from getting a little teary when he found out he’d been voted in as the new Indigenous team halfback for next year’s All Stars blockbuster on the Gold Coast.
Sandow admits to being stunned when he received his congratulatory phone call from Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley.
“Yeah I am excited about being in the side – I had tears of joy when they rang me up, that I was chosen,” Sandow told NRL.com.
“I think playing for the Indigenous All Stars will start my year off and my career off at the Eels with a bang.
“I’ll take a lot by being around Scotty Prince and Johnathan Thurston – and I’ll take that back to Parramatta and start the year off really good there with those boys.”
Sandow’s blistering attack for the Rabbitohs in 2011 won over the fans, who voted the bantamweight in at No.7 inside captain and new five-eighth Johnathan Thurston ahead of All Stars ‘veterans’ Scott Prince (who retains a bench position) and unlucky Dragon Jamie Soward.
Sandow acknowledges it must have been a tough choice for fans.
“The guys have been around for a few years… I would have played anywhere if I’d got chosen so I’m really excited about playing in the team and doing something good for them,” he said.
“I get along with the boys, I think everyone is on the same page, which is good.”
Sandow said he expected his family would turn out in force for the game at Skilled Park on February 4 and urged all Rugby League fans to support the clash.
“I rang my mum first, straight after I got my phone call – she’s over the moon about things. I think all the family are getting things in order to come down to the Gold Coast [from Cherbourg] to watch,” he said.
“I can’t wait… doing community work and also enjoying it with the boys at the same time and being professional about it. I’m really excited – I can’t wait until the week begins!”
Sandow had a final message for Indigenous team fans:
“Get onto the NRL website and purchase a ticket because I think we’ll have to fill [Skilled Park],” he said.
“It’s going to be exciting to get there to watch, so hopefully everyone turns up… and do a good cause for Artie Beetson, who passed away [on December 1] – it will be good to lend some support.”