Storm stars pumped about Indigenous v Maori clash
Melbourne Storm duo Jesse Bromwich and Josh-Addo Carr have expressed their excitement over the opportunity to represent their family and culture in next year's revamped NRL Harvey Norman All Stars game.
The NRL announced today the start of the 2019 season will be headlined by a blockbuster clash between the Australian Indigenous All Stars and the New Zealand Māori Kiwis at AAMI Park on February 15.
It's anticipated Laurie Daley will coach the Indigenous All Stars, while Michael Macguire will head up the Māori side.
The squads will be comprised of 20 players, with a fan vote expected to select 16 members and the remaining four spots to be selected by the coaches. Unlike previous editions of the All Stars game, there will be no player limit per club.
Bromwich has played 24 Tests for New Zealand and is a strong chance to be picked for the Māori side, having played for the NRL All Stars in 2015.
"I've actually spoken about that with a few of the Māori boys and I just said how much I would love to be able to represent our culture and possibly play against Indigenous boys," he said.
"Now here we are, 2019 it's happening, so it's very exciting.
"To be picked would be an honour.
"It's a very passionate culture... hopefully [we play with] a bit of a flair as well, hopefully the boys put together a great performance and hopefully I can get in there.
"It would be very exciting."
Addo Carr is relishing the chance to represent his family and culture for the Indigenous side.
"If I get picked, it's a dream come true," he said.
"It's going to be a tough challenge but I'm looking forward to it. I think it's about making our family and culture proud and doing our best."
NRL head of football Brian Canavan highlighted three attributes that would make the All Stars game a must-watch event.
"Rugby league is full of tribalism, passion and power," he said. "These three ingredients are on display throughout the week, culminating in the game on February 15 next year."
Canavan said the introduction of the women's All Stars game would be another step forward in the development of women's rugby league.
Māori representative and Dragons recruit Honey Hireme said the chance to showcase the women's game on the Melbourne stage will be a fantastic moment.
"To expose the game, the women's rugby league game here in Melbourne is going to be great for the game," she said.
Roosters player Nakia Davis-Welsh said it would be an "unreal" feeling to put on the Indigenous jersey next February.