Burgess likely to miss NRL All Stars
“Shattered” Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess is the Rabbitohs’ most popular player in voting for the 2011 NRL All Stars and second in overall voting to the Eels’ Nathan Hindmarsh … but last week’s shoulder surgery has almost certainly ruled him out of the February 12 match. <br><br> Burgess, who got a late call-up this year to play in the inaugural match won by the Indigenous team, was keen to play again and looked certain to get the chance with public voting currently having him just over 100 votes behind Hindmarsh (almost 7000 votes), with less than two weeks to go. <br><br> The first stage of voting for the Harvey Norman NRL All Stars team closes on December 28 after which of squad of 64 players – two forward and two backs from each club - will be announced for the second round of voting which opens January 3. <br><br> Burgess, who had his third shoulder reconstruction last week (first on his left shoulder) from an injury during the Four Nations tournament last month, said he didn’t want to rule himself out of the All Stars game, but admitted he was a “very slim chance”. <br><br> He has been told recovery time is 10-12 weeks, but he said he recovered quicker than expected from his first two shoulder reconstructions. <br><br> “I get my sling off in January so I doubt I will be fit which is really disappointing,” he said. “I really enjoyed it this year; it’s a great concept. It got me off to a good start in the NRL season. <br><br> “It’s a bit more frustrating than anything, especially with the voting going so well. I don’t want to rule myself out yet … but I would be a very slim chance.” <br><br> Burgess said he was not surprised to hear his English team-mate Gareth Ellis is leading the overall voting for the Wests Tigers players with nearly 5000 votes, just ahead of Lote Tuqiri. <br><br> “Gareth has been in great form and I would love to see him play in the All Stars,” Burgess said. <br><br> “It’s the closest thing to Origin football that we can get. Gareth would be great for it. It’s a credit to him that he is polling so well in the voting.” <br><br> To vote, <a href="http://www.nrl.com/repgames/allstarsvoting/tabid/10972/default.aspx"> click here</a>. <br><br> <b>Overview of NRL All Stars voting:</b> <br> - 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. <br> - Once a player from one club is placed in the team, no other player from that club can be chosen. <br> - If a player withdraws from the team due to injury, he will be replaced by someone from the bench. <br> - 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. <br><br> Rugby League fans are also being reminded to secure their tickets for the 2011 Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars, with about 3000 tickets remaining. <br><br> Tickets are available through Ticketek outlets, on 132 849 or <a href="http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=ALLSTARS11"> click here.</a> <br><br>New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849.