Both teams were selected by over 40,000 fans with only captains Benji Marshall (NRL All-Stars) and Johnathan Thurston (Indigenous All-Stars) automatic selections. A representative from each of the 16 NRL Clubs was selected in the 20-man NRL All Stars squad led by Wayne Bennett, while fans could choose from all of Rugby League's best Indigenous talent for Laurie Daley's Indigenous All Stars.
Both teams will field stellar line-ups, chock full of representative players. The NRL All-Stars greatest strength and advantage lies in their formidable forward pack led by workhorse and NSW captain Paul Gallen. He will join State of Origin representatives James Tamou, Ben Hannant and Ashley Harrison in what is a powerful engine room.
The NRL All-Stars forward pack will be looking to give plenty of time and space for captain Benji Marshall, Cameron Smith, Adam Reynolds and Robbie Farah to weave their magic.
The Indigenous All-Stars forward pack does not boast the same pedigree as the NRL All-Stars but they make up for it with sheer explosiveness, led by Gallen's former 'bruise brother' Greg Bird and fellow hard men, Joel Thompson and Andrew Fifita. However, the Indigenous All-Stars real strength lies in their backline and no doubt they will aim to get the ball in the hands of Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges and reigning 2012 Dally M Medallist Ben Barba as much as possible.
With the very best rugby league players going head to head the match promises to be an enthralling contest and the perfect way to launch the 2013 NRL season! 3 sleeps. Bring it on!
Adam Schoenmaker is a pastor in in his local church in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
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