NEWCASTLE Knights teammates Willie Mason and Timana Tahu will make a surprise return to representative football next month after being named as "coach's selections" for the All Stars game in Brisbane.
Knights and NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett chose Mason to make his All Stars debut alongside fellow first-timers Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), James Tamou (Cowboys), Billy Slater (Storm) and Tim Grant (Panthers).
Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley chose Tahu as one of seven players to make their All Stars debut.
The others were Canberra trio Reece Robinson, Jake Foster and Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer (Titans), Joel Romelo (Bulldogs) and Dane Nielsen (Warriors).
Fans selected 16 players in each team by an online voting system.
Two players - Cameron Smith and Benji Marshall - were exempt from the voting process and guaranteed starts in the NRL All Stars team.
That gave Bennett two additional selections which he used on Mason and Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Cronk.
Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston was an automatic selection in the Indigenous All Stars side, giving Daley three extra selections. He used those to call in Tahu, Wighton and Nielsen.
The Indigenous All Stars won 16-12 in the first game in 2010, but lost 28-12 the following year and 36-28 last year.
Daley said he was confident the 2013 squad could square the ledger.
"We certainly have some strike-power in our team. When you look at the calibre of players we have, I think fans will be excited at the style of footy we will play," he said.
"I know how determined our team is to perform well and I think we have a squad capable of achieving something special."
Bennett said he was happy with the choices the fans had made for his side, but was equally aware of the talent in the Indigenous All Stars line-up.
"There's no doubt the fans will be in for an entertaining game with the great mix of talented and exciting backs and powerful forwards in both teams," Bennett said.
After three years on the Gold Coast, the match will be played at Suncorp Stadium for the first time on February 9.
NRL All Stars
- Billy Slater
- Akuila Uate
- Shaun Kenny-Dowell
- Josh Morris
- Brett Morris
- Benji Marshall (c)
- Adam Reynolds
- James Tamou
- Cameron Smith
- Ben Hannant
- David Taylor
- Anthony Watmough
- Paul Gallen
Interchange: Robbie Farah, Tim Grant, David Shillington, Feleti Mateo, Jarryd Hayne, Willie Mason, Cooper Cronk.
Indigenous All Stars
- Ben Barba
- Reece Robinson
- Justin Hodges
- Greg Inglis
- Blake Ferguson
- Johnathan Thurston
- Scott Prince
- George Rose
- Travis Waddell
- Andrew Fifita
- Joel Thompson
- Greg Bird
- Nathan Peats
Interchange: Ryan James, Aidan Sezer, Joel Romelo, Jake Foster, Dane Nielsen, Timana Tahu, Jack Wighton.
Located towards the end of Jacaranda Place is this well maintained 4 bedroom family home. Rendered finish and tiled rood means low exterior maintenance. Inside...
Where else can you get a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 living area low set brick and tile home in a quiet Frenchville cul-de-sac for under $400,000? Come along and...
Check out the price on this neat as a pin 2 bedroom Allenstown Unit! Only 4 blocks from the Mater Hospital and just 2-3 minutes to Woolworths at the Allenstown...
This is definitely fantastic location, location right in the heart of Frenchville - fantastic family home for 1st home buyer, singles, couples, retirees, and...
What an amazing picture perfect highset family home showcasing immaculate presentation, fantastic design, brilliant location and stunning, cool tropical gardens...
This home is perfectly positioned in Wandal Heights, close to schools, including Rockhampton Grammar School and all of Rockhampton's Hospitals. This home oozes the...
Perfectly positioned in an idyllic location this immaculate home presents a lifestyle of low maintenance easy living. Situated on an elevated corner block you...
Framed by a traditional white picket fence in ever popular Allenstown, this outstanding fully renovated home boasts incredible appeal both inside and out. The...
This home offers a wonderful entry level opportunity to live on the Southside. An extremely neat and tidy spacious home with recent modern renovations completed. ...
This is a stunning renovated home at a price that will pay for itself! A fantastic high set home with absolutely no work to be done! Move in or rent out...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.