Indigenous All Stars: Have you voted yet?
The Indigenous All Stars team has begun to take shape with big playmakers Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday, Johnathan Thurston, and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs leading an historic voting race. Some of the game’s biggest names are fighting for selection in the first ever Indigenous All Stars team which will play the NRL All Stars on the Gold Coast on February 13, 2010.<br><br>As “official” selectors of the team, over 8000 fans have already logged on to <a href="http://www.nrl.com/FanZone/AllStars/tabid/10918/Default.aspx">NRL.com/allstars</a> to nominate their preferred side. Thousands more expected to make their team selection before voting closes on November 15, 2009. <br><br>As the voting stands at this moment, Johnathan Thurston is leading the race for half back and Greg Inglis is the preferred choice for centre. Other leading players in the vote tally include the Dragons’ Wendell Sailor, the Cowboys’ Carl Webb and Manly’s George Rose.<br><br>Queensland players are in high demand leading 9 out of the 13 positions. Cowboys fullback Matthew Bowen, Scott Prince from the Titans and Broncos centre Justin Hodges are amongst the Sunshine state front runners to sit alongside Ken Stephen Award winner and Indigenous All Star Captain, Preston Campbell.<br><br>As a reminder of the incredible array of talent there is to choose from names like Timana Tahu, Yileen Gordon and Willie Tonga are still battling to make it into the top 16, but there is still time for all three to catch up in the public vote. <br><b><br>As it stands the side will consist of the following players:</b><br><br>1. Matthew Bowen<br> <br>2. Wendell Sailor<br><br>3.Justin Hodges <br> <br>4. Greg Inglis<br> <br>5. Nathan Merritt<br> <br>6. Scott Prince<br> <br>7. Johnathan Thurston<br> <br>8. Carl Webb<br> <br>9. PJ Marsh<br> <br>10. George Rose<br> <br>11. Sam Thaiday<br> <br>12. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs<br> <br>13. Cory Paterson<br> <br>14. Daine Laurie<br> <br>15. Jamie Soward<br> <br>16. Jamal Idris<br> <br>Following the finalisation of the public vote, Indigenous All Stars coach Neil Henry and the ARL Indigenous Council will appoint the remaining three players. <br><br>“Fans now have their first ever opportunity to take the selectors chair and it is great to see them taking up the chance,” Indigenous All Stars coach, Neil Henry says.<br><br>“Rugby League fans have always been passionate about the selection process for representative games which only adds to the magnitude of this voting opportunity.<br><br>“I am looking forward to the next instalment.” <br><br>Fans are being urged to cast their vote, with less than three weeks left to make their selection on who will wear the Indigenous All Stars jersey. <br><br>Tickets are currently on sale for the game through Ticketek on 132 849, at Ticketek outlets or online at <a href="http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NRLALLST10">www.ticketek.com.au</a>. New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849. <br><br>Throughout January 2010, the public will also be asked to take the selectors chair for the NRL All Stars side. VB Kangaroos Skipper Darren Lockyer, Cameron Smith, along with NZ Captain Benji Marshall and Adam Blair, will be automatically included in the line-up. Sixteen places will be determined by public vote, and there is a prerequisite that each of the 16-clubs are represented in the players voted by the fans.