Well the NRL All Stars game is played this weekend and I’ve got to say, I’m not feeling it.
I think with the drawn out process that happens in regards to voting for players over the course of about three months, only to have many players pull out with injury, it just has lost me a bit.
I will watch the game, no doubt I’ll enjoy it too, but at this stage it is just another game for me.
I think the All Star game is a great vehicle to promote Rugby League and the various charities associated with the game. I think the work done with the Indigenous community in the lead up to the game has been great and the NRL should be applauded for that.
I do worry that this game is seen as a bit of a risk for some players through.
I can completely understand a player wanting to pull out of this game and not risk injury or simply not risking the extra wear and tear on their body with a long season ahead. Over time I think this could have the effect of eroding the draw of this game, if the stars all pull out, who’s going to want to watch it?
I think they need to look at changing the NRL All Stars side into a Polynesian All Stars team and have them play the Aboriginal side.
Well first of all, it would finally allow the great pool of Polynesian talent in the NRL to have its day in the sun. Internationals between Samoa, Tonga, PNG, Fiji and the like are great, but they are still not high profile games. This would be a high profile contest.
You also have the prospect of two very proud groups of players facing off against one another. We all remember the 2008 showdown between the New Zealand Maori and Australian Aboriginals that was a curtain raiser for the World Cup that year. To see something similar to that would be epic!
I think the football would be good to watch too, both sides would throw the ball around a bit and put on a good show.
On top of all of that, I think it would be a fantastic way to showcase what a multicultural game we have. While other sports in Australia try to artificially bring other ethnicity into their sport, simply by buying them from other codes and fast tracking them into their top sides, Rugby League naturally is a game played by many different people from many different backgrounds.
What a great way to celebrate that fact.
What ever the case, I think the current All Stars concept is a great idea, its just that it needs a revamp to keep it fresh, relevant and a great game to watch.
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