Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne has urged the NRL to consider the possibility of introducing a Polynesian team into the annual All-Stars clash, a concept started by Preston Campbell.

A plethora of players have backed the idea with both current and former players all behind the idea.

Hayne believes that should a Pacific All-Stars side be given the chance to join the All-Stars, then it would place all of the game’s biggest stars on one stage for all NRL fans to see.

The inaugural All-Stars clash, a concept which started this year proved to be a huge success where the NRL’s best players were on show for all NRL fans to see.

For Hayne however, and his Fijian heritage, he says that the addition of a Pacific Islander team would elevate the All-Stars clash even further and make it an even bigger spectacle.

“Last year gave great awareness for the indigenous people’s perspective and now we could look at trying to get a Pacific team as well,” Hayne said.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

“I think it would be a great concept.

“If we could get something like that going, it would be fantastic for the game. You’ve got guys like Michael Jennings, Frankie Pritchard, Kris Inu, Benji Marshall and Issac Luke … Wes Naiqama.

“The Indigenous All Stars, the NRL All Stars and the Pacific All Stars, I think they all work hand in hand and we could have a three-way series.

“If it was to eventuate, I’m sure the Pacific boys would throw their hand up and participate.”

Like Jarryd, outgoing Eels winger Krisnan Inu has also witnessed first-hand just how many Polynesian players  are playing junior footy.

According to the NSWRL Academy, it is said that 40 per cent of SG Ball (under-18s) and Harold Matthews (under-16s) players are of Samoan, Tongan, Maori, Fijian or Cook Islands background.

“These days if you go watch any junior club there’s that many Island boys in every team,” Inu said.

“The numbers are just growing.

“Its just a matter of time when the numbers get too many to ignore.

“If there was an Island team in the All Stars, it would be a real plus not only for the game, but the players and the fans. It’s something they could look at.

“And maybe one day it could be similar to Origin or bigger.”

Former test lock and Tonga coach Jim Dymock who coached Tonga in the 2008 World Cup is a staunch advocate for promoting the Pacific Islands and giving them increased awareness in the NRL.

Dymock agrees that the concept of the Polynesian All-Stars has the potential to rival Origin.

“It really could,” Dymock said.

“It was good they had the Indigenous team in the All Stars, but I’m sure the Polynesian people and players that miss out on playing for New Zealand and Origin would like the chance to test themselves against the best.

“I’ve been pushing for a Pacific Cup to be played on the same night or week as Origin, but this could be just as good, if not better.”

At this stage however, NRL boss David Gallop has stated that the All-Stars concept will remain a clash between the Indigenous All-Stars against the All-Stars.

“The NRL All Stars is already a celebration of the many cultures within the game and featured players from a number of backgrounds and from every NRL club,” Gallop said.

“The match has always been intended as a celebration of both the diversity of the NRL and of the playing talent at each club.

“It is a single match concept linked strongly to the nation’s apology to the stolen generations and it is not likely at this stage to grow into further teams.”

By ricky

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.