It’s become one of the best ways to start the NRL season, after the massive success of the the inaugural match in 2010. Highlighting the skill of the many indigenous players within the NRL and their cultures is a wonderful way to help bridging the gap and encourage understanding for all Australians. And the game will be amazing too. From the press release:

Channel Nine opens the 2011 rugby league season with the live broadcast of the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars showcase this Saturday at 6.30pm QLD.

The NRL All Stars will play the Learn. Earn. Legend! Indigenous All Stars at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, whetting the appetite of hungry rugby league fans with the start of the new season just a month away.

In last year’s inaugural Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match, which honoured the second anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology to the Stolen Generation, the NRL Indigenous side defeated the NRL All Stars 16-12.

Nine’s broadcast will commence with a pre-match entertainment extravaganza celebrating Australia’s indigenous heritage, featuring performances by Deadly Award-winning duo Busby Marou and two-time ARIA Award winner Dan Sultan. There will also be spectacular performances by the Bangarra Dance Theatre and Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts.

The fans have again selected an impressive NRL All Star lineup full of their favourite players in 2011. Over 37,000 fans voted for the 20-strong side, led by Australian and Broncos captain Darren Lockyer and chosen from every team in the NRL. The All Stars side includes Benji Marshall, Cameron Smith, Nathan Hindmarsh, the speed machine Michael Jennings and exciting young gun Josh Dugan.

North Queensland Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston will lead the Indigenous All Stars team which includes the big guns Scott Prince, Jamie Soward and Jamal Idris.

Nine’s expert team of commentators will call the match, headed by the voice of rugby league Ray Warren, with Peter Sterling, Phil Gould, Andrew Johns and Wally Lewis. Gold Coast Titan Preston Campbell, the architect behind the All Stars concept, and the Rabbitohs’ biggest signing in decades, injured Indigenous All Star Greg Inglis, will be special guest panellists.


NRL All Stars game – Saturday 12/02 6.30pm AEST, Ch9.