Rugby League legend and All Stars Ambassador Darren Lockyer today unveiled the 2012 NRL All Stars jersey which, for the first time, will feature individual player NRL club logos on each playing strip.
The jersey was showcased at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, where it was revealed that the newly incorporated club logos on the shoulder of the playing strips were an initiative voted for by NRL club CEOs. (Click here to view the design)
With a week to go in the final voting stage for the NRL All Stars team, fans still have time to ensure their favourite player has a chance to wear the new jersey when the side takes on the Indigenous All Stars at Skilled Park on February 4. Stage Two voting closes at www.nrl.com/allstars on Wednesday week (January 18) at 11:59pm AEDT.
Lockyer, who captained the NRL team in the first two All Stars events in 2010 and 2011, will take on a new role in 2012 as NRL All Stars Ambassador, spending the week in camp with coach Wayne Bennett’s side, to be named on Thursday week (January 19).
“All Stars has a different feel about it to other representative matches and I am really happy that I can still play a part in the match,” Lockyer said today.
“It’s a great idea to include the club logos - you are here representing your club and I think it gives the jersey a real All Stars feel to it.”
Today’s announcement also revealed an Arthur Beetson tribute to be featured on both the NRL All Stars and Indigenous All Stars playing jerseys, with former Indigenous All Stars captain and 2012 All Stars Ambassador Preston Campbell present to unveil the tribute.
Each jersey includes the late Rugby League Immortal’s signature, along with the inscription, Arthur Beetson 1945 – 2011 “Tonight we play in your honour”, on the chest. (Click here to view the design)
“The tribute to Artie adds special significance; you can’t deny the impact that he had on Rugby League,” Campbell said.
“He inspired Indigenous and non-Indigenous players as well as thousands of fans and I believe the tribute revealed today will see both sides play with a little extra heart when they take to the field at Skilled Park next month.”
Apart from the new-look jersey, Lockyer also revealed who he would select for his 2012 NRL All Stars team:
1. Josh Dugan (Raiders)
2. Jason Nightingale (Dragons)
3. Jack Reed (Broncos)
4. Chris Lawrence (Tigers)
5. Manu Vatuvei (Warriors)
6. Benji Marshall* (Tigers)
7. Cooper Cronk (Storm)
8. Kade Snowden (Knights)
9. Cameron Smith* (Storm)
10. Paul Gallen (Sharks)
11. Michael Crocker (Rabbitohs)
12. Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels)
13. Luke Lewis (Panthers)
14. Frank Pritchard (Bulldogs)
15. Nate Myles (Titans)
16. Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
17. Tony Williams (Sea Eagles)
18. Brent Tate (Cowboys)
* Automatically selected players
However it is the public who have the say on who makes the side with only a week left in the second and final voting stage. They can only choose one player from each of the 16 NRL clubs.
NRL All Stars captain Benji Marshall and Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith are both automatic selections, with coach Wayne Bennett to choose an additional two players in the 20-man squad to be announced tomorrow week (January 19).
Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeves said the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars is a major event on the Queensland sporting calendar.
“In 2011, the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars drew a sell-out crowd of 26,000 people – on top of the 1 million viewers nation-wide who tuned in to watch from home” said Mr Reeves.
“It is events like this that deliver a major boost to the Gold Coast tourism industry, supporting local businesses and communities.
“That is why the Queensland Government, through Events Queensland, has invested a record $174 million investment in events over four years. It’s helped to make Queensland the events state and the champion’s state.
“The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars joins a stellar line-up of events on the Gold Coast in 2012 including the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters, Magic Millions, Armor All Gold Coast 600, Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch, Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro, International Rules, the ‘Aussies’ and the Pan Pacific Masters Games.”
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.
Indigenous All Stars Team
The side, to be coached by Lauire Daley, was named on December 7, and 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.
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.
2010 – Indigenous All Stars 16 def NRL All Stars 12
2011 – NRL All Stars 28 def Indigenous All Stars 12.