Johnathan Thurston has been named as captain for the Indigenous All Stars when they take on the NRL All Stars in February.
Thurston will appear alongside Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges and Chris Sandow in a strong Indigenous team named by coach Laurie Daley.
They will take on a Wayne Bennett-coached NRL All Stars outfit in the Harvey Norman All Stars match at the Gold Coast’s Skilled Park on February 4.
The two teams will contest the Arthur Beetson trophy in honour of the legendary former player and coach who passed away last week.
“I am really happy with the quality of the team the public has selected and with the names announced today we are in the very best position to win the Arthur Beetson trophy come February 4,” said Daley.
“I know all Indigenous Rugby League players look up to Artie for what he did for Rugby League and for Indigenous Australians and with the trophy representing a true legend of the game, we will have extra incentive to win the All Stars match.
“The NRL All Stars team will be a world-class side, but all the players announced today will be playing to win and also to honour the passing of a Rugby League legend.”
Voting for the NRL All Stars team starts on December 27 and will be confirmed in January.
The 2012 Indigenous All Stars team is:
1. Ben Barba (Bulldogs; Goreng Goreng)
2. Jharal Yow Yeh (Broncos; Margany)
3. Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs; Dunghutti)
4. Justin Hodges (Broncos; Indigenous tribes of the Cairns region)
5. Nathan Merritt (Rabbitohs; Wiradjuri)
6. Johnathan Thurston (c) (Cowboys; Gungarri)
7. Chris Sandow (Eels; Bigambul/ Gubbi Gubbi)
8. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Raiders; Indigenous tribes of Tweed area)
9. Travis Waddell (Raiders; Torres Strait: Badulaig)
10. George Rose (Sea Eagles; Kamilaroi)
11. Sam Thaiday (Broncos; Torres Strait: Iama (Yam Island)
12. Jamal Idris (Titans; Worimi)
13. Greg Bird (Titans; Kamilaroi)
14. Andrew Fifita (Sharks; Wiradjuri)
15. Cory Paterson (Cowboys; Indigenous tribes of the Blue Mountains region)
16. Matthew Bowen (Cowboys; Binthi and Dhaarrba)
17. Scott Prince (Titans; Kalkadoon)
18. Anthony Mitchell (Roosters; Waka Waka)
19. Joel Thompson (Raiders; Wiradjuri)
20. Nathan Peats (Rabbitohs; Biripi nation)
Coach: Laurie Daley (Wiradjuri)