Folau tops NRL's All Stars voting - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Folau tops NRL's All Stars voting

By Adrian Warren 29/01/2010 07:36:02 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall isn't used to taking orders from Australians, but he will happily play second fiddle to his Kangaroos counterpart Darren Lockyer when the NRL All Stars play the Indigenous All Stars next month.

The ultra talented duo will fill the halves positions for the NRL team in the February 13 fixture on the Gold Coast.

Broncos back Israel Folau attracted more votes from the public than any other individual, with 16 players, one from each club, voted into the game.

The Australian and New Zealand captains and vice-captains were automatically chosen.

Tigers star Marshall made it clear he would have no problems taking orders from Lockyer.

"He (Lockyer) has been around for a long time and it's like I'm a little kid again and playing my first game, to get a chance to play with a player I've looked up to my whole career and taken a lot of my game off.

"He will definitely be the boss, I will just follow him around."

NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett was also looking forward to the mouth watering prospect of the two gifted halves working their magic in tandem.

"If we can get it right on the night, we will see some wonderful football and they will be the guys that will generate it," Bennett told reporters.

The fixture will also provide rare match ups of players who are usually team-mates.

Melbourne fullback Billy Slater, who finished second behind Folau in the public vote, will line up against his Storm, Queensland and Australian team-mate Greg Inglis.

"Hopefully he (Inglis) doesn't break the line when I'm back there," Slater said.

"Hopefully we can keep him quiet ... we might have to put a few numbers on him and make him make a few tackles and he might not be so potent in attack."

Bennett described the public vote for both teams as a "wonderful innovation", but joked he would have someone else to share the blame if things didn't work out.

He revealed the 20-man squad contained 18 players he had in mind but tactfully declined to identify the two others thrown up by the voters.

The squad includes just three players, forwards Dave Taylor, Nate Myles and Alan Tongue who haven't yet represented their country.

Australians and New Zealanders apart, the NRL All Stars selection also includes Great Britain Test forward Gareth Ellis.

The game will feature a double try innovation, allowing teams scoring a four-pointer to eschew their conversion and go for another try from a single play 15 metres out from the goal line.

NRL ALL STARS: Billy Slater (Melbourne), Israel Folau (Brisbane), Michael Jennings (Penrith), Matt Cooper (St George Illawarra), Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand), Darren Lockyer (Brisbane), Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers), Adam Blair (Melbourne), Cameron Smith (Melbourne), Dave Taylor (South Sydney), Anthony Watmough (Manly), Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers), Luke O'Donnell (North Queensland), Kurt Gidley (Newcastle), Anthony Tupou (Cronulla), Nate Myles (Sydney Roosters), Alan Tongue (Canberra), Luke Bailey (Gold Coast), Josh Morris (Canterbury), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta).

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