Folau, Slater, Gidley and Watmough lead voting

The fans have voted Israel Folau, Billy Slater, Kurt Gidley and Anthony Watmough as their top picks for the NRL All Stars side and with voting now closing a day earlier – at midnight (AEDT) on January 28, 2010 – the public has only eight days left to shape who will face the Indigenous All Stars in the inaugural Harvey Norman All Stars clash on February 13.

More than 12,000 fans have selected their NRL All Stars team but the final line-up is still undecided, making it more important than ever for fans to cast their votes.

Voting in this final stage has been moved forward a day to allow the NRL All Stars team a longer preparation and will now finish at midnight (AEDT) on January 28, 2010.

With the deadline fast approaching for selectors, NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett is once again taking the time to confer with fans through an online blog.

From 12.30pm AEDT (11.30am in Queensland) tomorrow, Thursday January 21 on NRL.com, Bennett will discuss the potential make-up of the NRL All Stars side.

Fans can then take the opportunity to cast their votes as to who should join automatically selected internationals Darren Lockyer, Benji Marshall, Cameron Smith and Adam Blair to wear the NRL All Stars Jersey on February 13.

In his previous blog, Bennett posted comments in response to questions about the team, the All Stars concept, modified rules and broadcast innovations. His comments included:

When asked on his preferred position for the voting leader, Israel Folau:

“Definitely wing. That’s the best position at the moment. Later on he will handle centre but wing is the position he plays most regularly.”

When questioned on the importance of a forward pack versus a strong backline:

“It’s a tough decision, having gone through it myself. We need a good forward pack, but getting the balance right is the key. We need to be able to gain yards and defend, then have a backline that can capitalise on yards gained.”

On Wests Tigers’ forward Gareth Ellis:

“I’d put him in my team.”

Voting for the teams has been overwhelmingly supported by over 47,000 fans who have taken up their opportunity as selectors in the creation of the Indigenous All Stars side and the shaping of the NRL All Stars team.