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NRL All Stars Game preview: Close encounter on the cards

The NRL have confirmed that the 2024 calendar will officially begin with the Indigenous All Stars taking on the Maori All Stars on Friday.

It will be the 13th edition of the All Stars game, which sees the Indigenous All Stars take on either the Maori All Stars, NRL All Stars or the World All Stars.

The last five All Stars fixtures have seen the Indigenous All Stars and Maori All Stars face-off and the 2023 edition was a thriller.

The Indigenous All Stars won the match 28-24 and we could be in for another close game in Townsville on Friday night.

WhatIndigenous All Stars v Maori All Stars
WhereQueensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
When20:10 (AEDT), Friday 16th February 2024
How to watchChannel 9, 9Now
OddsIndigenous All Stars 1.62, Maori All Stars 2.30

Previous meetings

The Indigenous All Stars and Maori All Stars have met each other on five occasions and there is nothing to separate them.

They have won two each, while the other match ended in a draw.

The last three games have been very close. In 2023 the Indigenous All Stars won by four points, while a year earlier the Maori All Stars won by six and in 2021 the match ended in a 10-10 draw.

There is a good chance Friday night’s clash could be another close one and the Indigenous All Stars are priced at 2.75 to win by 1-12 points.

The Maori All Stars can be backed at 3.50 to win within the same margin.

The Indigenous All Stars have played in 12 of the 13 All Stars games, winning six, losing five and drawing one.

The Maori All Stars have featured in five matches, all of them against the Indigenous All Stars.

Team news

As you would expect, there will be plenty of quality players on show in Townsville as both squads are packed with talent.

There have been some changes to the original squad lists however, with a number of players withdrawing from both sides in the lead-up.

For the Indigenous All Stars, South Sydney Rabbitohs ace Cody Walker has pulled out along with Isaiah Tass and Jacob Alick.

That trio have been replaced by Brian Kelly, Kyle Laybutt and Zac Fulton.

The Maori All Stars have suffered a big blow with New Zealand Warriors star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak pulling out of the squad along with Jacob Gagai.

Jojo Fifita and Keenan Palasia have been called into the squad as replacements.

Fifita will be a big threat for the Maori All Stars and can be backed at 2.10 to score a try at anytime.

The Indigenous All Stars are also blessed with two star wingers in the shape of Josh Addo-Carr and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

They are priced at 1.83 and 2.50 respectively to score a try at anytime during the game.

Indigenous All Stars: Josh Addo-Carr, Bailey Biondi-Odo, Bailey Butler, Josh Curran, Adam Elliott, Zac Fulton, Jordan Grant, J’maine Hopgood, Nicho Hynes, Brian Kelly, Josh Kerr, Alofiana Khan Pereira, Kyle Laybutt, Latrell Mitchell, Shaquai Mitchell, Kierran Moseley, Hohepa Puru, Kotoni Staggs. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Braydon Trindall.

Maori All Stars: Jesse Arthars. Kenny Bromwich. Jojo Fifita, Dane Gagai, Jack Howarth, Jahrome Hughes, Royce Hunt, Te Maire Martin, Trey Mooney, Briton Nikora, Kodi Nikorima, Keenan Palasia, Adam Pompey, Joseph Tapine, Jazz Tevaga, Leo Thompson, Matthew Timoko, Brandon Smith, Dylan Walker, Xavier Willison.

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