Knights players the coach's picks for league All Stars game

Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Matt King / Getty Images

NEWCASTLE Knights teammates Willie Mason and Timana Tahu will make a surprise return to representative football next month after being named as "coach's selections" for the All Stars game in Brisbane.

Knights and NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett chose Mason to make his All Stars debut alongside fellow first-timers Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs), James Tamou (Cowboys), Billy Slater (Storm) and Tim Grant (Panthers).

Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley chose Tahu as one of seven players to make their All Stars debut.

The others were Canberra trio Reece Robinson, Jake Foster and Jack Wighton, Aidan Sezer (Titans), Joel Romelo (Bulldogs) and Dane Nielsen (Warriors).

Fans selected 16 players in each team by an online voting system.

Two players - Cameron Smith and Benji Marshall - were exempt from the voting process and guaranteed starts in the NRL All Stars team.

That gave Bennett two additional selections which he used on Mason and Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Cronk.

Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston was an automatic selection in the Indigenous All Stars side, giving Daley three extra selections. He used those to call in Tahu, Wighton and Nielsen.

The Indigenous All Stars won 16-12 in the first game in 2010, but lost 28-12 the following year and 36-28 last year.
Daley said he was confident the 2013 squad could square the ledger.

"We certainly have some strike-power in our team. When you look at the calibre of players we have, I think fans will be excited at the style of footy we will play," he said.

"I know how determined our team is to perform well and I think we have a squad capable of achieving something special."

Bennett said he was happy with the choices the fans had made for his side, but was equally aware of the talent in the Indigenous All Stars line-up.

"There's 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," Bennett said.

After three years on the Gold Coast, the match will be played at Suncorp Stadium for the first time on February 9.



NRL All Stars

  • Billy Slater
  • Akuila Uate
  • Shaun Kenny-Dowell
  • Josh Morris
  • Brett Morris
  • Benji Marshall (c)
  • Adam Reynolds
  • James Tamou
  • Cameron Smith
  • Ben Hannant
  • David Taylor
  • Anthony Watmough
  • Paul Gallen

Interchange: Robbie Farah, Tim Grant, David Shillington, Feleti Mateo, Jarryd Hayne, Willie Mason, Cooper Cronk.

Indigenous All Stars

  • Ben Barba
  • Reece Robinson
  • Justin Hodges
  • Greg Inglis
  • Blake Ferguson
  • Johnathan Thurston
  • Scott Prince
  • George Rose
  • Travis Waddell
  • Andrew Fifita
  • Joel Thompson
  • Greg Bird
  • Nathan Peats

Interchange: Ryan James, Aidan Sezer, Joel Romelo, Jake Foster, Dane Nielsen, Timana Tahu, Jack Wighton.

Topics:  indigenous all stars newcastle knights nrl nrl all stars rugby league wayne bennett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Who was Warriena Wright?

Gable Tostee (right)  logged back on to Tinder just days after Rrie Wright's death.

Wright was more than just the girl who fell from a balcony

Neumann vows to back JBS workers

The ongoing dispute between JBS Dinmore and workers continues.

Federal MP to meet with company's management

Plans to tackle two of Qld's biggest traffic bottlenecks

More than 148,000 vehicles travel through one section each day

Local Partners

Police defend Riverlink traffic ticket

Inspector Keith McDonald says police have a responsibility to crack down on car park traffic offences.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.