The pride and passion of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars is back in 2017!
It’s the event that celebrates the football code’s commitment to Indigenous Australia, culminating in one of the most significant National Rugby League matches in the season’s calendar – the Indigenous All Stars vs. World All Stars on Friday 10th February, for the first time in NSW at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.
The general public was invited to help select a 20-man Indigenous All Stars squad from a shortlist of players via online voting over a four-week period. Now footy fans get to watch the best the NRL has to offer in this commemoration of the league’s, and indeed the nation’s, multiculturalism.
Indigenous All Stars like Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday and Andrew Fifita — representing their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities — take on the World All Stars consisting of international players with a diverse heritage, including Jarryd Hayne (Fijian), Mitchell Moses (Lebanese), Jake Trbojevic (Serbian) and Moses Mbye (Gambian).
A host of players will make their World and Indigenous All Stars debut — including Nate Myles, Jack Bird and Latrell Mitchell — when the two teams meet for the seventh time.
World All Stars team coach Mal Meninga is also a first-time participant, and is excited about the experience: “The All Stars match is a fantastic way to kick off the rugby league season in Australia and I’m looking forward to the chance to be part of the build-up.”
In the opposition dressing room, Laurie Daley will coach his fourth consecutive Indigenous All Stars team. With the match to be staged at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium, he was pleased to see the occasion being shared with a new audience and fan-base outside of Queensland for the first time in the match’s history: “The Harvey Norman All Stars is a wonderful celebration for players and fans alike and I am sure that the people of Newcastle and further afield will get right behind the chance to see some of the best players on-field.”
In what will be an awesome two-for-one deal, the women’s fixture will feature as one half of a double header with the men’s game. The Harvey Norman Jillaroos fullback, Sam Hammond, is set to take the field in her sixth All Stars line-up. It’s just the start of what will be a massive 2017 for the women’s game, which also features the Auckland Nines, State of Origin, the inaugural Tarsha Gale Nines and the World Cup at the end of the year.
The week leading up to the main events will be filled with fun activities, including player visits to local communities and schools, plus the Awabakal Interstate Challenge and Indigenous All Stars jersey presentation. For full details of the festivities, see the All Stars Week Calendar.
Harvey Norman is proud to lend its continued support to the Rugby League All Stars. Head on down to Harvey Norman Bennetts Green (7 Abdon Close, Bennetts Green, NSW 2290) on Wednesday 8th February between 4:30pm and 6pm for an in-store meet and greet with players. Then make your way to McDonald Jones Stadium two days later to catch the All Stars action and throw your support behind this incredible initiative bringing fans and players together in celebration of life, no matter their colour, creed or cultural beliefs.