New World All Stars team launched to open NRL season

The NRL‘s All Stars fixture is to have a revamp in 2016, with the introduction of a new World All Stars team.

This team will play the Indigenous All Stars in the now traditional season opening fixture at Suncorp Stadium on February 13.

The side replaces the NRL All Stars, and will feature a minimum of four players each from Australia, New Zealand and England, while the remaining players will be made up from other nations – Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, PNG and France (if available).

The captains of England, New Zealand and Australia will be automatic picks for the team, with coach Wayne Bennett selecting the rest of the players.

“The All Stars game will continue to be an important event on our calendar but this change will ensure it is even more relevant and entertaining,” said NRL head of football Todd Greenberg.

“Not only will this move reinvigorate the concept, it will also ensure some of the best players from the best rugby league nations are playing together.

“We have seen in recent years the potential of some of the Pacific nations and this will ensure some of those players are given a chance to celebrate their heritage alongside some of the best players in the world from other nations, as well as the game’s finest Indigenous talent.

“We have some incredibly diverse talent in rugby league and the new All Stars side will ensure that talent is showcased.

“Under the new model the game will be bigger and better than ever.”

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