It has been moved around and the format has changed, but with the NRL All Star Game heading back to the Gold Coast in 2020 it feels like the NRL might have finally settled on a winning combination.
With the Indigenous All Stars taking on the New Zealand Maori the NRL All Star Game feels like it actually means something. The game has really struggled to find a way to give both Indigenous players and Moari players and avenue to represent their respective cultures in the recent past. Then in the opening exhibition match of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup….this happened….
It was an incredible moment, once that showed we needed to see more games between these two teams. It showed one of Rugby Leagues great strengths, its diversity, and the way the game embraces the many different cultures that game up our truely great sport.
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CBus Stadium on the Gold Cost is the perfect venue for this match. It is the right size for the NRL All Star Game, but also is an event the Gold Coast region can call its own.
It makes you wonder this match would go if it was played in New Zealand. As we have seen in recent years with the New Zealand Kiwi’s taking on the liked of Tonga and Samoa, big crowds in New Zealand will turn out for a chance to support these culturally significant teams.
After The Super League War concluded, Rugby League become very conservative in terms of representative football. Thankfully in 2020 that has all changed, and the NRL All Star match is supported alongside other events like the NRL Rugby League 9’s and the World Club Challenge.
The more events we have in Rugby League, the better. We can not just rely on the club game to drive Rugby League. These different events and different concepts add some much needed variety to the season.
That is my one criticism of the NRL 9’s. With only NRL clubs represented in the NRL 9’s, there is a real lack of variety that made the old Rugby League World 7’s so exciting and interesting too watch.
So, will we see the NRL All Star Game move around and not settle on the Gold Coast? Who knows. While the Gold Coast seems to be the right venue for the event, the NRL is very keen on spreading these events around, especially to venues and cities that don’t have a full time NRL clubs such as Perth and Adelaide.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com