Hindy set to pip Hayne for All-Stars berth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hindy set to pip Hayne for All-Stars berth

Steve Jancetic 29/12/2010 05:36:43 PM Comments (0)

A year ago Jarryd Hayne was considered the best player in the game, but the Parramatta superstar is in danger of missing out on next year's NRL All-Stars game due to the popularity of Eels teammate Nathan Hindmarsh.

Hindmarsh emerged as the frontrunner following the first round of fan voting for the season-opening clash, the veteran backrower polling more than 8000 votes to head a list of 64 players to make the penultimate cut.

Hayne was fifth on the list, but with only one player from each club to make the side, the Test winger is in danger of watching on from the sidelines as the NRL's best take on the Indigenous All-stars at Skilled Park on February 12.

And it's not just Hindmarsh who is blocking Hayne's path to the All-Stars No.1 jumper, with Canberra fullback Josh Dugan coming second in the voting.

While Hayne remains some hope of making the side - with fans having until January 27 to chose from the final four candidates from each club - the likes of St George Illawarra ace Mark Gasnier and NSW Origin halfback Todd Carney failed to make the cut.

Gasnier was pipped by Darius Boyd and Brett Morris as the premiers' two contenders in the backs, while Dally M medallist Todd Carney and Shaun Kenny-Dowall edged out Pearce as the Roosters two nominees.

From the 64 shortlisted players, NRL All-Stars coach Wayne Bennett will slot each player into the position he would like them to be considered in.

From there, the player with the highest amount of votes in a position will be the first picked, with his club teammates then eliminated from the equation in other positions.

The process will continue as each position is filled alongside automatic selections Darren Lockyer and Benji Marshall, with Bennett to come up with his final two wildcard selections in the 20-man squad.

The Hindmarsh-Hayne battle isn't the only inter-club tussle featuring high up the leaderboard, with Luke Lewis finishing the first round of voting in ninth - just one place above Penrith teammate Michael Jennings.

A host of players who switched clubs in the off-season have obviously taken little time to win over fans with the likes of Canterbury recruit Frank Pritchard, new North Queensland lock Dallas Johnson, Warriors backrower Feleti Mateo and former Dragons premiership-winning forwards Jeremy Smith (cronulla) and Neville Costigan (Newcastle) all earning a nomination.

South Sydney forward Sam Burgess, who was third in voting after the first phase, has joined Melbourne fullback Billy Slater in making himself unavailable for selection due to injury.

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