Voting open for NRL All Stars
Monday 15 October 2012 8:05 PM
Voting is open for the 2013 NRL All Stars side to take on the Indigenous All Stars in the fourth annual encounter being played for the first time at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on February 9, 2013
To find out all the latest
The first three All Stars contests were played at Skilled Park in Robina. Manu Vatuvei won the vote as the Vodafone Warriors’ representative in both 2010 and 2012 and was also poised to win the spot in 2011 until he was withdrawn with injury; Feleti Mateo too the spot instead.
Now it’s time for rugby league fans to play selector for Wayne Bennett following the opening of voting on Saturday. The 2013 NRL All Stars team will again be spearheaded by Kiwi captain Benji Marshall and his Australian counterpart Cameron Smith.
They were up against each other in Townsville on Saturday night but will team up in the first official game of 2013.
As NRL All Stars captain and Kiwis skipper, Marshall is an automatic selection in the 20-man NRL All Stars squad with Kangaroos and Storm captain Cameron Smith as the Australian team’s automatic selection.
The public now take on the role of selector and will vote on the 16 players to join Marshall and Smith in stage one of online voting. An additional two players will be selected by Bennett at the completion of stage two voting in January to build the squad to 20 players.
Fans have from October 13 to until December 10 to be a selector in the first stage of voting at www.nrl.com/allstars. They must choose two forwards and two backs from each of the 16 NRL clubs to form a shortlist for Bennett to then refine his team for stage two of the voting.
“The All Stars is an incredibly important event on the rugby league calendar as it showcases all the great things about our game from amazing skills and athleticism to inclusiveness, spirit and passion,” said Bennett.
“It is a very fitting way to kick off the 2013 pre-season. Now in its fourth year, the match has not lost any of its appeal to me as a coach; to the players who see it as a great honour to represent their people; and to the wider community who watch it live or on Channel Nine.”
At the completion of stage one voting, Bennett will place the 64 players chosen into his preferred positions, as well as outline the make-up of the bench positions.
Stage two of voting will commence on December 10, when the public have the challenge of selecting just one player from each of the 16 NRL clubs to join Marshall’s side.
Bennett and the NRL All Stars coaching staff select the remaining two players to form the final 20-man squad.
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, depending on the position needed for the bench.