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.
Completely dominating its elevated position on a massive 3984m2 plot is this exclusive Buderim residence with panoramic views of the coastline and Glasshouse...
Stylish, sophisticated and designed to showcase the spectacular ocean views stretching south to Caloundra and beyond..."Monterey on Buderim" has established itself...
Karmasea is one of the Sunshine Coast's elite designer 5 Star developments. It is renowned for the finest finishing's available and highly sought after position...
This fully furnished holiday apartment in the popular "Nautilus Resort" just 90 metres to the patrolled surf beach of Mooloolaba, one of south-east Queensland's...
Imagine owning your own seaside retreat... somewhere to enjoy your holidays or weekend escapes; somewhere to relax and soak up delightful ocean views, gentle sea...
Located on top of Buderim in leafy Gloucester Road, within walking distance to the village, is this immaculate lowset home framed by beautiful well established...
Embrace the simple life in 2016 and beyond...downsize, de-clutter and maximise your leisure time when you purchase this truly affordable home just footsteps to...
It's one of the biggest in the gated community. It offers magnificent views of Mt Coolum, the park and the golf course, which can't be built out!!! Just across...
Conveniently located in quiet street of Caloundra within a short stroll to the Stockland shopping precinct, Bus stop at your door step and only minutes to local...
Located in an excellent street with a huge park just across the road, this 4 bedroom home will make a great addition to your investment portfolio. The home...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.