Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward says he'd love another crack at playing for the Indigenous All Stars but isn't optimistic given the strength of candidates in his position.
Voting went live for fans to select who they'd like to see suit up for the Indigenous side in 2016, with reigning Dally M and Clive Churchill medallist Johnathan Thurston all-but guaranteed of nailing down one spot, leaving Soward competing with the likes of Aidan Sezer, Ben Barba and Tyrone Roberts for the position in the halves.
When first prompted about the game by NRL.com, Soward said he wasn't expecting to play, but confirmed starting for the Indigneous side is definitely something he wanted to achieve before he retires having played previously off the bench in the first two All Stars fixtures in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm very keen to play, I wanted to play last year but I think there's too many good halves so I'll be concentrating on the Panthers first and foremost and we'll see what happens from there," Soward said.
"I've been involved a couple of times off the bench and I'd love to be able to get a starting jersey, especially towards the back end of my career.
"It'd be nice to be able to play outside 'JT' or whoever's in the halves but it's a pretty hot field, the halfback and five-eighth spots."
Soward returned to training this week alongside Penrith teammates and said he is in full training rather than the rehab group which is a good sign after injury restricted him to 16 of 24 games last season.
"We started this week so it's about getting the kilometres in the legs now and getting ready before Christmas to come back after Chrissy and start narrowing our focus before the start of the season," he said.
Fingers crossed I get enough votes for the #allstars team this year. Would love another crack at the game.— Jamie Soward (@sowwowofficial) November 5, 2015