Rabbitohs' superstar fullback is set to hit the field for the first time in six months for the annual clash against the mighty Maori.
Jodan Perry

2 Feb 2021 - 10:47 PM  UPDATED 2 Feb 2021 - 10:47 PM

Latrell Mitchell will once again captain the Indigenous All Stars when they take on the New Zealand Maori later this month at Townsville Stadium. Mitchell returns after suffering a serious hamstring injury in the Round 16 clash against Parramatta last year.

Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley said he's excited for the 23-year-olds comeback after hearing he has been "training the house down" for South Sydney.

"We know what he is capable of doing and he is certainly a spiritual leader of this team," Daley said.

“Really looking forward to seeing how he adapts in his second full season at fullback, coming off that hamstring injury."

The team, picked via fan poll, has also installed a handy backup in Rabbitohs' teammate Alex Johnston, who is no stranger to filling in the fullback jumper. Daley said it's a handy option.

"We will probably have to limit the minutes that he plays... but we are lucky that we have Alex (Johnston) there. He filled in for him a number of times in last year's game," he said.

Also joining the pair in the side is livewire five-eighth Cody Walker who again claims the number 6 jumper after a stellar season which saw him return to the NSW State of Origin team.

Daley said Walker and Mitchell display an impressive attitude and he's a fan of how outspoken they are when it comes to their people.

"They're very influential and I think that's so important to have good leaders, people that other people want to follow and they stand up for their beliefs and I think that's great," he said.

"When they're in this situation they know they can have a voice and they know people will hear that voice. Whether they like them or they don't like them, they respect them."

Other notable inclusions are Titans half Jamal Fogarty who will make his debut after finding his feet in the top grade at the back end of 2020. North Queensland's Reuben Cotter who will pack down at hooker, and nippy Manly half Cade Cust who is set to come off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Women's Indigenous All Stars team sports a range of new faces.

Incumbent captain Tallisha Harden packs down at lock to lead an experienced forward rotation which includes Quincy Dodd, Shaylee Bent and Caitlan Johnston. Coach Ian Bourke has tipped young half Akira Kelly as one to watch.

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