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Women's Indigenous v Maori: Harden, McGregor, Rota named captains

The stars will be out in force for the women's Indigenous All Stars fixture at Cbus Super Stadium.

The likes of Shakiah Tungai and Tallisha Harden and NRLW young gun Shaylee Bent will lead an Indigenous side looking to avenge last year's 8-4 loss to their Maori counterparts.

Meanwhile, a raft of international players including Raecene McGregor, Botille Vette-Welsh, Corban McGregor, Krystal Rota and Kiana Takairangi will be determined to ensure the trophy stays in Maori hands.

The Rundown

Team News

Indigenous All Stars: Shakiah Tungai, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Steph Mooka, Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Bobbi Law, Simone Smith, Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Rebecca Young, Kelsey Parkin, Caitlan Johnston, Kaitlyn Phillips, Shaylee Bent, Tallisha Harden, Quincy Dodd, Jasmine Allende, Shaniah Power, Layla Fauid, Tanika Marshall

No changes to the squad that was initially named by coach Ben Jeffries. Simone Smith returns from a two-year enforced layoff due to injury, while Nakia Davis-Welsh is set for her first rep match since having a son last year. Tallisa Harden has been named skipper.

Maori All Stars: Botille Vette-Welsh, Kiana Takairangi, Kerehitina Matua, Corban McGregor, Amber Kani, Raecene McGregor, Sarina Clark, Kat Wira-Kohu, Krystal Rota, Harata Butler, Kathleen Wharton, Geneva Webber, Christyl Stowers, Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell, Laishon Jones, Jonsal Tautari, Maddison Weatherall, Capri Paekau

No changes to the squad that was initially named by Rusty Matua. Nine players who featured in last year's inaugural win have been retained. Raecene McGregor and Krystal Rota will share the leadership duties.

Key match-up

Shakiah Tungai v Botille Vette-Welsh. The Dragons teammates will put friendship aside when they lock horns for 60 minutes. Vette-Welsh's penchant for eating up metres and Tungai's try-scoring knack could prove decisive.

For the Indigenous All Stars to win

The Indigenous side were dominated in the running metre stakes last year, giving up 1,325 metres compared to the 846 they made. That and having only 42 percent of possession put their backs firmly against the wall - so to only go down 8-4 was a solid effort. If they can produce a similarly brave defensive showing while making the most of their opportunities in attack, the Indigenous All Stars have the talent to finish on top.

For the Maori All Stars to win

There's no reason to go away from what worked in 2019. Playing a power game through the middle will create the space needed for Vette-Welsh, Corban McGregor and Takairangi to strike out wide. Staying patient against a tenacious Indigenous outfit will be important too.

Stat Attack

The Indigenous All Stars had to make an extra 101 tackles in last year's tussle - recording 321 compared to the Maori team's 220. 

And another thing...

While 2019 was the first time the Indigenous and Maori All Stars met, a women's All Stars match was first held in 2011. The Indigenous side beat the women's All Stars 22-6.