Tamou wins our vote as NRL All Stars rep!
Wednesday 16 January 2013 2:35 PM
Test and Origin front-rower James Tamou has secured his first NRL All Stars selection after winning the public vote to be the North Queensland Cowboys’ representative in the 9 February Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match at Suncorp Stadium.
The 24-year-old finished ahead of his Australian teammate Matthew Scott, the NRL’s equal top try-scorer in 2012 Ashley Graham and centre Kane Linnett to earn his place in coach Wayne Bennett’s 20-player squad to face the Indigenous All Stars.
Tamou, who was a big hit in his first season as a representative player in 2012, will start at prop in a front row that also features Queensland and Australia captain Cameron Smith and Brisbane Bronco Ben Hannant.
Bennett chose former international Willie Mason to make his All Stars debut alongside Tamou and the three other All Stars rookies, Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), Billy Slater (Storm) and Tim Grant (Panthers).
Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk was the other coach’s selection addition.
Newcastle’s Timana Tahu, Warriors’ Dane Nielsen and Canberra’s Jack Wighton were chosen by Laurie Daley for his Indigenous All Stars side to be led by Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston, who is the sole North Queensland representative.
Indigenous All Stars regulars Matthew Bowen and Anthony Mitchell were unavailable following off-season shoulder surgery.
More than 40,000 rugby league fans had their say via two online voting stages to select a representative from each of the 16 NRL clubs in the 20-man NRL All Stars squad, while fans could choose from all of rugby league’s best Indigenous talent for Daley’s Indigenous All Stars.
Daley said: “We certainly have some strike-power in our team and when you look at the calibre of players we have, I think fans will be excited at the style of footy we will play.
“The NRL All Stars is a formidable side with big, powerful, class players in key positions, but I know how determined our team is to perform well and I think we have a squad capable of achieving something special.”
Bennett said the public had chosen him a balanced side, capable of playing the exciting brand of football that had become synonymous with the All Stars game.
“There is no doubt the fans will be in for an entertaining game with the great mix of talented and exciting backs and powerful forwards in both teams, as well as the blend of experience and youth,” Bennett said.
“Just as important as the game though is the whole week of All Stars activities and community events and I commend the players for their ongoing commitment to the All Stars concept which continues to help make a real difference to the lives of many Australians.”
2013 NRL All Stars team (*All Stars debutants):
1. Billy Slater*, Storm
2. Akuila Uate, Knights
3. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roosters
4. Josh Morris, Bulldogs
5. Brett Morris, Dragons
6. Benji Marshall (c) (automatic selection), Wests Tigers
7. Adam Reynolds*, Rabbitohs
8. James Tamou*, Cowboys
9. Cameron Smith (automatic selection), Storm
10. Ben Hannant, Broncos
11. David Taylor, Titans
12. Anthony Watmough, Sea Eagles
13. Paul Gallen, Sharks
14. Robbie Farah, Wests Tigers
15. Tim Grant*, Panthers
16. David Shillington, Raiders
17. Feleti Mateo, Warriors
18. Jarryd Hayne, Eels
19. Willie Mason*, Knights
20. Cooper Cronk, Storm
2013 Learn Earn Legend! Indigenous All Stars team (*All Stars debutants):
1. Ben Barba, Bulldogs
2. Reece Robinson*, Raiders
3. Justin Hodges, Broncos
4. Greg Inglis, Rabbitohs
5. Blake Ferguson, Raiders
6. Johnathan Thurston (c), Cowboys
7. Scott Prince, Broncos
8. George Rose, Sea Eagles
9. Travis Waddell (not contracted)
10. Andrew Fifita, Sharks
11. Joel Thompson, Raiders
12. Greg Bird, Titans
13. Nathan Peats, Rabbitohs
14. Ryan James, Titans
15. Aidan Sezer*, Titans
16. Joel Romelo*, Bulldogs
17. Jake Foster*, Raiders
18. Dane Nielsen*, Warriors
19. Timana Tahu*, Knights
20. Jack Wighton*, Raiders