Knights players the coach's picks for league All Stars game

Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Matt King / Getty Images

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.

Topics:  indigenous all stars newcastle knights nrl nrl all stars rugby league wayne bennett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Providing missing all-weather road link

The federal Minister for Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar MP and the federal Minister for Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan at the announcement in Rockhampton last

Sealing of Clermont Alpha Rd provides missing all-weather road link.

School spirit at garage sale

GARAGE SALE: Isaac Galea, Lochlan Harris, Jim Stevens, Blake Carpenter and Jodi Lawn.

School spirit at garage sale

Breaking the code

ROBOTICS CHAMPS: The Moranbah Mindstorm Creators took out the robotics challenge at the inaugural Isaac Libraries Tech Fest. Left to right: Mentor Calum Goodman, Stephanie Price, Aaron Hamilton, Alana kerr, Angela Lally, jake Williams, Daniel Brackley, Dibet Alfonso, mentor Edy Alfonso.

150 budding coders took part in Tech Fest.

Local Partners

Emerald teacher named finalist for award

Sunanda Bradbury has been named as a finalist in the Queensland College of Teachers Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning Award.

Space station to grace Rockhampton skies tonight

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

Six minute window to see space station tonight

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

Hugh Laurie will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie is set to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

How Kristie blind-sided everyone to win Australian Survivor

Kristie Bennett wins Australian Survivor.

FAN favourite says she was underestimated by her competitors.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June