Hard work ahead for All Stars: Fittler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hard work ahead for All Stars: Fittler

By David Beniuk 28/01/2010 08:55:54 PM Comments (0)

The NRL All Stars will need to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work before even thinking about being rugby league's equivalent to the Harlem Globetrotters, assistant coach Brad Fittler says.

League fans have until midnight on Thursday to register their vote for the 20-man squad, which will be announced on Friday, to take on the Indigenous All Stars on February 13.

A short-list of 64 players, four from each club, has been put together with head coach Wayne Bennett sorting them into his preferred positions.

The tough part comes with only one player from each NRL club allowed to join Australian captain Darren Lockyer, his deputy Cameron Smith, New Zealand skipper Benji Marshall and Kiwi vice-captain Adam Blair.

It will ultimately be up to the public to choose which player plays what position, a scenario that looks likely because of the one-player-per-club rule.

"Tight forwards", as Bennett has designated them, look thin on the ground when Petero Civoniceva and Fuifui Moimoi are ruled out by the almost certain selection of their clubmates Michael Jennings and Jarryd Hayne, meaning more "edge forwards" could be picked.

Bennett has also specified two "utilities" on his seven-man bench, but specialist hookers like Robbie Farah and Issac Luke may be preferred by voters.

Fittler will link with Bennett for the first time, having never played under him when he was Australia's Test coach.

"I read the paper and they say Anthony Watmough's close, they say Billy Slater, Kurt Gidley so anyone after that I don't really care, it's a pretty good side," Fittler told AAP on Thursday.

"As long as they've got the soldier look.

"Footy's a game like that. It's pretty hard to play Harlem Globetrotters when you haven't got some blokes doing the work.

"The one thing I know when you're in a team like this, they all respect each other and the first thing they know is required is to do the hard work.

"The ball control's going to be an important thing.

"They do enough work in the off-season to know how paramount ball control is so I think the game will sort of start, it won't be expansive but once they get clicking they'll get going."

Fittler said he expected Bennett and opposite number Neil Henry to shun set plays in favour of encouraging the estimated $15 million worth of talent on display to show their value.

"I think it will be more ad lib, you don't want to confine their skills," Fittler said.

"Obviously you've got certain players who have certain skills. You've got Benji (Marshall) who gets across field really good and Darren (Lockyer) plays really straight.

"As long as they all play together ... how they got this far is they always thought about the team before themselves.

"There's nothing stronger than wanting to play for your team-mates."

Possible NRL ALL Stars team: Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Billy Slater (Melbourne), Israel Folau (Brisbane), Michael Jennings (Penrith), Manu Vatuvei (Warriors), Darren Lockyer (Australia, capt), Benji Marshall (New Zealand), Adam Blair (New Zealand), Cameron Smith (Australia), Luke Bailey (Gold Coast), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Luke O'Donnell (North Queensland), Anthony Watmough (Manly). Interchange: Nate Myles (Sydney Roosters), Luke Douglas (Cronulla), David Taylor (South Sydney), Terry Campese (Canberra), Josh Morris (Canterbury), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers).

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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