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 was launched today, pitting team-mates against each other for a prized spot in the 2012 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match on February 4.
As Stage Two of voting got underway from midday (AEDT) today at www.nrl.com/allstars, players from all 16 NRL clubs will be competing against each other to secure the one spot available per club for the NRL All Stars team for the third annual match at Skilled Park.
Broncos rising star Jack Reed was the surprise most popular player in Stage One of voting which closed on Friday night, but he faces his toughest test from team-mate and 2011 “Favourite Son” Petero Civoniceva to secure the one Brisbane spot in the NRL All Stars line-up.
Fans will also have to choose between the likes of the Paul Gallen and Todd Carney from the Sharks, the Raiders’ Josh Dugan and David Shillington; and Eels trio Jarryd Hayne, Nathan Hindmarsh and Fuifui Moimoi who all made today’s “shortlist of 64 players – two forwards and two backs from all 16 NRL clubs.
More than 13,400 fans had their say in Stage One, voting online over the past three weeks to determine the 64-man list and now they have until January 18 to cut that to16, with only one player from each club eligible.
NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett spent three days over Christmas assigning positions to the 64 shortlisted players following the completion of Stage One voting at midnight on Friday (December 23).
“I’ve got to say I am pleased with the names the fans have put forward in stage one of voting, but I think the real challenge Iies in this second phase, as there is a lot to consider,” Bennett said.
“This is a tough task for the most experienced of selectors as not only do the fans have to think about shaping the side with the best player in each position, but they also need to consider that only one player from each club can be selected.
“The rivalry that voting creates between players is one of the great concepts about this match; like Origin, it is team-mate against team-mate and all the boys want to be a part of it.
“In the years gone by the public has delivered me an exceptional team and I am counting on the fans to do the same in 2012, especially with both sides going into the match with the series level.”
The Broncos’ Jack Reed was the clear leader in Stage One of voting tallying a total of 7812 votes, 478 ahead of the next player, capping off a spectacular 2011 season that saw him rise from playing park footy to donning an English jersey in the Four Nations Series.
The unluckiest player to miss out was the Storm’s Ryan Hoffman, who showed his popularity, being pipped by Kevin Proctor by just nine votes although he played in the UK Super League this year.
The top 10 voted players in Stage One of voting for the NRL All Stars are:
With Stage One of the NRL All Stars public selection process now complete, Bennett has assigned the following positions to the 64 shortlisted players and has asked fans to consider his guide below.
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 wants at least three tight forwards in the starting line-up.
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
Two players on the seven-man bench will be selected by Bennett at the completion of Stage Two voting.
|Club ||Forward / Back ||Bennett’s Positioning Guide to fans |
|Petero Civoniceva ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Corey Parker ||Forward ||Edge Forward, Tight Forward |
|Jack Reed ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Gerard Beale ||Back || Outside Back |
|Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs |
|Frank Pritchard ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Michael Ennis ||Forward ||Hooker |
|Josh Morris ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Steve Turner ||Back ||Outside Back |
|David Shillington ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Shaun Fensom ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Josh Dugan ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Terry Campese ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Paul Gallen ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Jeremy Smith ||Forward ||Tight Forward, Edge Forward |
|Todd Carney ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Nathan Gardner ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Gold Coast Titans|
|Nate Myles ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Luke Bailey ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|David Mead ||Back ||Outside Back |
|William Zillman ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles |
|Tony Williams ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Glenn Stewart ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Kieran Foran ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Daly Cherry-Evans ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Sika Manu ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Kevin Proctor ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Cooper Cronk ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Gareth Widdop ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Newcastle Knights |
|Kade Snowden ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Neville Costigan ||Forward ||Tight Forward, Edge Forward |
|Junior Sa’u ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Jarrod Mullen ||Back ||Inside Back |
|North Queensland Cowboys |
|Dallas Johnson ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Matthew Scott ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Brent Tate ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Kalifa Faifai Loa ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Nathan Hindmarsh ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Fuifui Moimoi ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Jarryd Hayne ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Luke Burt ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Luke Lewis ||Forward ||Utility Player |
|Sam McKendry ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Michael Jennings ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Michael Gordon ||Back ||Outside Back |
|St George Illawarra Dragons |
|Ben Creagh ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Michael Weyman ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Jason Nightingale ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Matt Cooper ||Back ||Outside Back |
|South Sydney Rabbitohs |
|Sam Burgess ||Forward ||Edge Forward, Tight Forward |
|David Taylor ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Matthew King ||Back ||Outside Back |
|John Sutton ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Braith Anasta ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Anthony Minichiello ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Mitchell Pearce ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Feleti Mateo ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Simon Mannering ||Forward ||Utility Player |
|Manu Vatuvei ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Shaun Johnson ||Back ||Inside Back |
|Gareth Ellis ||Forward ||Edge Forward |
|Adam Blair ||Forward ||Tight Forward |
|Chris Lawrence ||Back ||Outside Back |
|Beau Ryan ||Back ||Outside Back |
The Indigenous All Stars 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:
- 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, with the new player having recorded the second highest number 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.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said hosting the only representative match in Australian sport where the public selects the teams is a great coup for Queensland.
“This match brings together Rugby League’s best Indigenous and non-indigenous players in a powerful celebration of the diversity of Rugby League,” said Ms Bligh
“Competing for the Arthur Beetson Trophy at the February 4 match will be a great honour for the players following a moving service this month for the iconic Queenslander and Rugby League legend.
“Queenslanders are proud of their Rugby League heritage with last year’s NRL All Stars match drawing crowds of more than 25,800 – which is great for the Gold Coast economy, local businesses and jobs.
“That is why the Queensland Government, through Events Queensland, is proud to continue supporting this event which brings one of the most exciting exhibition matches to the Gold Coast.”