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Indigenous team 'shouldn't be overdone'

By Laine Clark 09/02/2010 08:32:19 PM Comments (0)

He may be one of the brainchilds of the hugely successful Indigenous All Stars concept but Gold Coast Titans boss Michael Searle says he never wants to see an indigenous rugby league team play a Test or the World Cup.

Searle says State of Origin has nothing on the passion shown by the Indigenous All Stars players ahead of their inaugural clash on Saturday night at Skilled Park against an NRL line-up.

He even warned the NRL All Stars that they better match the Indigenous side's intensity otherwise they would get "steamrolled" at Skilled Park.

But Searle - who came up with the All Stars concept with Titans playmaker Preston Campbell - did not want to see an indigenous representative side put together.

"Having spoken to a lot of the (Indigenous All Stars) players they really appreciate the chance to play for their people," Searle told AAP on Tuesday.

"But at the end of the day ... the most important thing you can do is represent your country.

"I would hate to see it diminish the importance of the Australian jersey.

"I think the players see this (All Stars game) as an incredible opportunity that no other code provides in our country.

"But I think the boys see it as an annual event and in a few months' time, they get a chance to represent their country.

However, Indigenous All Stars halfback Scott Prince adopted the "never say never" approach when asked about a representative team.

"It's up for a bit of debate, a lot of people have differing opinions," he said.

"But they never thought that this (All Stars event) would happen, so anything is possible."

While there has been debate over the intensity levels of the inaugural match, Searle made it clear what the NRL All Stars could expect in a sobering warning.

"You see the passion of Origin, but can you imagine what it would be like to represent your people?" Searle said.

"That would be incredibly powerful.

"If that enthusiasm is not matched by the NRL All Stars they will get steamrolled."

The Indigenous All Stars certainly looked pumped at training on the Gold Coast on Tuesday following what they described as a "cultural session" on Monday night.

Asked if the match would rival Origin in intensity, Indigenous forward Sam Thaiday laughed: "Depends on whether we do the war dance at the start of the game."

All Stars captain Campbell believed the Indigenous team would enjoy crowd favouritism but Thaiday reckoned it would be "50-50".

Searle agreed.

"I think it is a celebration of all people - it is one of those rare events where people would want to cheer for both teams," he said.

"This isn't state against state. It's indigenous people representing their people, it's players from Australia, New Zealand, England - this is very special."

Sharks flyer Blake Ferguson sent a scare through the Indigenous camp when he came off training with an ankle complaint but was expected to play.

He hobbled off when the Indigenous team had an opposed training session with the NSW and QLD Indigenous under 16 teams.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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