Sharks prop Andrew Fifita is confident the change in concept is set to bring a whole new level of excitement to the All Stars match on February 15.
This year to feature Australian Indigenous and New Zealand Maori, Fifita explained the game will be more than just a pre-season exhibition match with players proudly representing their cultures and heritage.
“They’re playing for their country and their Indigenous people and we’re playing for our country and our indigenous people,” Fifita told The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader. “It’s two solid teams that are going to go head to head. I can’t wait.”
With fan voting coming to an end and the teams now revealed, Fifita will be a part of an Australian Indigenous side for which he has been a regular fixture over recent years.
Fifita is set to lead a strong Australian Indigenous forward pack, with a quality supporting cast of exciting backline stars to join him.
Ben Barba, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts, Blake Ferguson and Josh Addo-Carr will add plenty of speed in what is a formidable Australian Indigenous line up.
“You see the quality players New Zealand have and to have their Indigenous players against our Indigenous players, its going to be a quality match,” he added in the Leader interview.
The Australian indigenous All Stars take on the New Zealand Maori side at AAMI Park in Melbourne on February 15.
The match will be part of a double header, with a women’s game to be contested and the Maori Haka and indigenous War Cry to fire up the crowd and kick start proceedings.
The Sharks will show the All Stars match on the big screen on field as a part of a special charity Shark Park Sleep Out to be held on the main stadium field at Shark Park.
Go to the following link to find out more and to be a part of the crowd at the charity Shark Park Sleep Out – CLICK HERE.
For All Stars ticketing information, go to the following link – CLICK HERE.
See final team lists below.
Australian Indigenous All Stars
Ben Barba North Queensland Cowboys
Blake Ferguson Parramatta Eels
Latrell Mitchell Sydney Roosters
James Roberts Brisbane Broncos
Josh Addo-Carr Melbourne Storm
Cody Walker South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tyrone Roberts Gold Coast Titans
Andrew Fifita Cronulla Sharks
Nathan Peats Gold Coast Titans
Ryan James* Gold Coast Titans
David Fifita Brisbane Broncos
Adam Elliott Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Tyrone Peachey Gold Coast Titans
Will Chambers Melbourne Storm
Leilani Latu Gold Coast Titans
Chris Smith Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Alex Johnston South Sydney Rabbitohs
Jesse Ramien Newcastle Knights
Tyrell Fuimaono Penrith Panthers
Kotoni Staggs Brisbane Broncos
(*injured with a replacement to be named)
New Zealand Maori’s
Peta Hiku New Zealand Warriors
Dane Gagai South Sydney Rabbitohs
Esan Marsters Wests Tigers
Dean Whare Penrith Panthers
Jordan Kahu Brisbane Broncos
Kalyn Ponga Newcastle Knights
Jahrome Hughes Melbourne Storm
Jesse Bromwich Melbourne Storm
Brandon Smith Melbourne Storm
Jordan McLean North Queensland Cowboys
Kevin Proctor Gold Coast Titans
Tohu Harris New Zealand Warriors
Adam Blair New Zealand Warriors
Danny Levi Newcastle Knights
Brad Takairangi Parramatta Eels
James Fisher-Harris Penrith Panthers
James Tamou Penrith Panthers
Gerard Beale New Zealand Warriors
Corey Harawira-Naera Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Joseph Tapine Canberra Raiders