For the first time, the Indigenous and Maori men’s and women’s All Stars will be heading to Sydney for their annual clash.
It was announced on Tuesday that CommBank Stadium would host the match for the first time since the concept’s inception in 2010.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said that it is a fitting time to be played in Sydney.
“This is a phase of renewal for the economy and giving people confidence to come to live events again, and to celebrate everything that people in the NSW community have achieved over the last couple of months, which have been really tough,” he said.
“This game means so much to the players and to our community, and given the fact we haven’t played football in NSW for so long I think people are hungry to see this clash.”
Indigenous All Stars women’s centre Shaylee Bent said that she is excited that the match will be hosted in Western Sydney.
“As soon as I heard it was at CommBank Stadium it gave me chills because us western Sydney mob, we are so passionate.”
“I think because a lot of us don’t have much, to have it here where a lot of our people can come is big.
“Redfern and Mount Druitt are some of the biggest populations of Indigenous people so it is going to be crazy.”
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) November 30, 2021
“It is going to be the best it has ever been, I reckon, and there are a lot of Māori people in western Sydney too so to have it at Parramatta is going to be so mad you don’t understand.”
The match will open the biggest season in the NRL’s history, with 2022 housing two NRLW competitions, the Telstra Premiership, State of Origin and the 2020 World Cup in England.
The clash is set for February 12.
By Teisha Cloos