Harvey Norman NRL All Stars Teams named

Updated: February 1, 2019
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The Indigenous All-Stars and New Zealand Māori Kiwis sides have been named ahead of the Harvey Norman NRL All-Stars match on Feb 15th at AAMI Park.

Newcastle superstar Kalyn Ponga, South Sydney centre Dane Gagai, North Queensland prop Jordan McLean and Penrith front-rower James Tamou will represent the Māori despite having pledged their allegiance to Australia over New Zealand.

Tamou and Gold Coast second-rower Kevin Proctor are the only survivors from the Māori team which played the Indigenous Dreamtime team in a curtain-raiser to the opening match of the 2008 World Cup, which inspired the All Stars concept.

With Manly second-rower Joel Thompson ruled out with a calf injury, the Indigenous team do not have any remaining players from that match.

The Titans boast the highest representation of players in the Indigenous team, with Tyrone Peachey named at lock, Nathan Peats at hooker, Tyrone Roberts at halfback, Ryan James at prop and Leilani Latu on the bench.

James was named in the team despite the Titans announcing on Thursday that he would be sidelined for two-to-three weeks with a knee injury.

Cronulla and Tonga star Andrew Fifita is the other prop, with Brisbane’s David Fifita and Canterbury’s Adam Elliott in the second-row.

Roberts will be partnered at the scrum-base by South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker, with the duo part of a star-studded Indigenous backline which also includes Ben Barba, Blake Ferguson, James Roberts, Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr.

Ponga has been chosen at five-eighth for the Māori team – the position he will play for the Knights this season.

The Māori forward pack comprises internationals who either play for Melbourne or have done in the past, with McLean and Proctor joining Storm prop Jesse Bromwich, hooker Brandon Smith and Warriors pair Adam Blair and Tohu Harris.

Besides McLean, all have played at Test level for New Zealand, while the seven-man bench included six Kiwis representatives – Joseph Tapine, James Fisher-Harris, Corey Harawira-Naera, Danny Levi, Brad Takairangi, and Gerard Beale – along with Tamou.

Gagai, who played for Australia against New Zealand and Tonga at the end of last season, was named on the wing for the Māori after choosing to represent his mother Tania’s family. He has represented his Indigenous heritage in previous All Stars matches.

Warriors utility Peta Hiku will play fullback for the Maori, with Penrith’s Dean Whare and Wests Tigers star Esan Marsters in the centres and Brisbane’s Jordan Kahu on the other wing.

The Men’s and Women’s All-Stars teams will be in Melbourne in the week leading up to the matches on 15 February, with teams taking part in a series of welcome events, community activities and training sessions.

To purchase tickets, head to www.nrl.com/tickets

For flights, accommodation and tickets to visit Melbourne and attend the matches, head to www.nrl.com/travel

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