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.

Ipswich climber makes it to Everest Base Camp

Beau Stewart is completing the hike of a lifetime in Nepal.

He visited Alice Springs, Tasmania and spots all over south-east Queensland as part...

WATCH: Boxing roos caught on video

QT readers Des and Jen Price captured this confrontation between two male roos in the backyard at Redbank Plains early Monday morning.

Readers capture kangaroos fighting

'Drug-addicted parents have no rights to kids'

Mum addicted to ice fighting for right to keep ninth baby

Local Partners

Gable Tostee: His own words about that fatal night

In a lengthy post to a bodybuilding forum four months after Warriena Wright died, Gable Tostee revealed what happened inside his apartment.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

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"

REVIEW: Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead disgusted me

I'm disgusted by The Walking Dead premiere.

SPOILERS: The Walking Dead premiere disgusted me.

Flick teases intense and entertaining Survivor grand final

Felicity 'Flick' Eggington in a scene from the TV series Australian Survivor.

GOLD Coaster's elimination leaves Lee, El and Kristie in final three

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

How Government will fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fonzie flats and smaller block sizes part of long-term plan.

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

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.