Voting for Stage One of the 2012 NRL All Stars team will close tomorrow night, giving fans less than 48 hours to select who they would like to see take the field in the third annual Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars clash at Skilled Park on February 4.
Stage One voting is open at www.nrl.com.au/allstars until 11:59pm (AEDT, Friday December 23) with fans running out of time to play a part in shaping the NRL All Stars team for seven-time premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett.
New Zealand skipper Benji Marshall, who will captain the NRL All Stars, is an automatic selection, along with Storm captain Cameron Smith, as the Australian team representative.
“All Stars is a great concept and the players really enjoy being a part of the week – I know all the Wests Tigers boys would be keen to make the team,” Marshall said today.
“For me it’s the only time I have been able to play with someone like Cameron, so it is something I really like to be a part of and I am looking forward to the match once again.
“I know the fans often talk about how they would have selected a representative side differently, so I really encourage them to get behind the concept and get their votes in.”
The public have already helped to pick an exciting Indigenous All Stars team, which includes 10 players with Test experience, so the NRL All Stars are expecting an enthralling battle to gain the lead in the lead series.
After Stage One voting closes on Friday evening, Bennett will have three days over Christmas to place his 64-shortlisted players into his preferred positions, including the make-up of the bench, with Stage Two voting opening at midday December 27.
Stage Two voting runs until January 18, with the 2012 NRL All Stars side revealed on January 19.
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 available through Ticketek outlets, on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au. New Zealand customers can call 0800 842 538 or +61 132 849.