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All Star magic ready for rumble

WINNING SMILES: The Indigenous All Stars proved too strong in last year’s All Stars encounter, winning 16-12 at Skilled Stadium. Image: AAP
WINNING SMILES: The Indigenous All Stars proved too strong in last year’s All Stars encounter, winning 16-12 at Skilled Stadium. Image: AAP

ALL STAR: Dave Taylor. cont

THE NRL All Stars will be looking to make amends for last year’s 16-12 loss to the Indigenous All Stars when they clash at Skilled Stadium, Gold Coast on Saturday night.

What could prove a crucial disadvantage for the Indigenous side this year is the loss of pivotal captain Preston Campbell as well as try-scoring machines Greg Inglis and Sam Thaiday, who are all out with injury.

Former Blackwater Crushers junior and State of Origin representative Dave Taylor will be running off the bench for the All Stars and is quietly confident of their chances.

“The game is going to be played at a very fast pace, with plenty of ball movement,” Taylor said.

“The Indigenous All Stars will be very keen to go two-nil up – we will need to be at our best.

“I feel as though I am in fairly good shape for this time of the year.

“Playing in the All Stars game and hopefully the (Rabbitohs) Charity Shield game will help enormously with my preparation for the start of the season.”

Dave said it had been an honour to represent at some of the highest levels, with each occasion holding its own individual importance.

“State of Origin is special in its

own way – wearing the Maroon jersey and the intensity and speed of the game are unique to Origin footy.

“I imagine this game will be special for different reasons. The significance of the game and the name of the teams ‘All Stars’ says that it will also be a very tough game.

“I just love playing rep footy at any level.”

The CQ NRL Bid team has made clear its interests in Taylor and other CQ league identities in past exchanges.

Now with an additional NRL franchise expected to be bidding for inclusion in the league – this time based in Brisbane – speculation on player exchanges are likely to become even more heated.

However, the man they call the “Coal Train” isn’t looking that far ahead.

“I am happy at South Sydney and they really look after (partner) Ash and myself,” Taylor said.

“Naturally we would be interested if either Queensland bid were successful because we are both Queenslanders at heart and have family in Queensland.

“If I can continue to play quality footy, my manager will look after the rest.”

The All Stars game will be televised live on Channel 9 from 6.30pm Saturday evening.


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