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Inglis out of All Stars clash

05/02/2010 07:40:10 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett says fans will still witness some wonderful rugby league at next week's NRL All Stars game despite the withdrawal of superstar Greg Inglis from the indigenous side on Friday.

Both sides made changes on Friday with Gold Coast recruit Greg Bird and South Sydney's Beau Champion coming into the indigenous line-up for Inglis and Dane Laurie.

English forward Sam Burgess was a stunning inclusion in Bennett's All Star team along with Test players Robbie Farah and David Shillington following the withdrawals of Wests Tigers' second-rower Gareth Ellis, South Sydney prop David Taylor and Canberra's Alan Tongue.

Burgess, who was signed by South Sydney after starring for England in last year's Four Nations, had not been eligible for the original voting because there were doubts about when he would arrive in Australia.

But he was named in the side after spending almost two months training with the Rabbitohs since arriving in Australia just before Christmas.

"With Greg and Hodgo (Justin Hodges) out it's certainly disappointing but there's lot of other wonderful players in that team and they'll still play plenty of great football," Bennett told AAP.

Inglis had been desperate to play in the Skilled Park sell-out on the Gold Coast.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said the Melbourne star after the Storm's medical staff ruled him out with a hip injury.

"I did everything I possibly could to get my body right but unfortunately it just didn't respond.

"It's going to be an historic occasion and I'm sure the boys will still put on a show without me."

The loss of Inglis and fellow international Hodges (achilles) has robbed the indigenous side of a word class centre pairing.

But the sense of occasion will bring out the best in the players with Bennett dismissing suggestions the game will be an attack-fest.

"There'll be some good defence, don't worry about that.

"But players won't feel that burden of ball control so much and getting field position.

"I think you'll find both sides will want to play with the football."

The two sides go into camp on the Gold Coast from next Monday with a number of community appearances and junior clinics planned for the week to involve the fans.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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