An historic match between the NRL’s best players and its Indigenous stars could soon become a reality with a proposal to be tabled at the NRL chief executives meeting today.
Talk of an Indigenous Vs Australia or NRL All Stars match has gained momentum over the years given the steady increase of Indigenous players in the NRL.
Last year’s hugely successful Indigenous Dreamtime Team Vs New Zealand Maori match held as the curtain raiser for the Rugby League World Cup proved how much public interest such matchups can create and it is believed a game involving the NRL’s best players and Indigenous stars could generate up to $2million.
The man behind the concept is Gold Coast Titans CEO Michael Searle who has proposed the match be played on the eve of Australia Day 2010 at Skilled Park with profits going towards Indigenous education programs and mentoring.
The proposal would include one player from each NRL team to comprise the All Stars, with the 17th player to come from Toyota Cup and teams being selected online by fans.
Such a match up could potentially pit players such as Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Mat Bowen and Justin Hodges against the likes of Billy Slater, Darren Lockyer, Manu Vatuvie and Roy Asotasi.
Former Australian captain Laurie Daley has been suggested as possible coach for the Indigenous side.