It was hard to pick just five players, our team is full of stars. The entire squad is outstanding, but with regards to game-breaking, I have narrowed my list down to these:
Greg Inglis – Bowraville
Little surprise here. Blessed with strength, size, speed and skills, the superstar custodian needs no introduction.
With over a decade of outstanding performances for club, state and country, ‘GI’ will make his fourth appearance for the side.
Inglis has scored two tries in his three games so far for our boys, including a screamer in last year’s 20-6 victory.
If the boys can get some early ball in the opposition 20, there is a good chance we could see another Goanna on the end of the backline movement to kick off the match.
Fun fact: Inglis spent some time playing juniors for my old club Western Suburbs in Newcastle, New South Wales. He played 16’s while I was in the 18’s. My teammates and myself would always try and dodge our warm-up duties to stay and watch the lightning-quick fullback fend his opposition into submission.
Dane Gagai - Mackay
On the back of an outstanding 2015, Dane is poised to make his first start for our boys, after coming off the interchange bench last year.
The flashy three-quarter won the Coaches' Award for the Knights after playing all 24 games in 2015, while also scoring the first try for the Maroons in the Origin decider.
His form was rewarded with selection in the Prime Minister’s XIII, who defeated Papua New Guinea 40-12.
There is little doubt Dane is set for a huge 2016 both on and off the field.
Barring injury or suspension he should bring up his 100th game for the Knights.
He will also join All Stars teammate Joel Thompson in becoming an NRL State of Mind Ambassador.
Fun fact: Dane and his dad Ray, were the first father-son combination to play NRL for the Broncos.
Edrick Lee – Brisbane
Local lad and former basketball whiz kid, Edrick Lee gets his first jumper for our boys, which will be his first senior representative match, after he was named 18th man in Queensland’s 52-6 demolition of New South Wales in Origin 3 last year.
A late inclusion after Alex Johnston’s withdrawal, the rangy Raiders winger is a highball specialist, so look for him to be above the pack whenever the opposition lined is bombed.
The 23-year-old is no slouch either, his speed helping him to many of his 27 tries for the Green Machine since his debut in 2012.
Fun fact: Given the moniker ‘The Fresh Prince of Belconnen’ due to his swarve hairstyles, Lee showed he still has plenty of B’Ball skill when he played against the world famous Harlem Globetrotters in 2013.
James Roberts – Kempsey
Many eyes will be on ‘Jimmy the Jet’ after the speed machine had a blistering 2015 campaign with the Titans.
Named Dally M centre of the year after crossing for 16 times in a team that ran 14th, Roberts will be primed for a big one after enjoying a pre-season under Wayne Bennett at new club the Broncos.
Nippy halves pairing Ben Barba and Tyrone Roberts will surely be doing the best they can to get James one-on-one with his opposing centre, with his acceleration and power hopefully getting him across the stripe more than once.
Fun fact: James is a keen fisherman away from footy. His Instagram contains some impressive catches.
Andrew Fifita – Sydney / Griffith
The hulking 26-year-old from the Sharks will line up in the front row for his third match in the annual event, after playing in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Andrew is a proven go-to man for his club side, possessing a combination of size, strength and skills which has led to many match-winningperformances.
Andrew has deceptively quick pace for a big man, and will prove a thorn in the side for the World All Stars with his size and aggression. Andrew will no doubt be motivated knowing that twin brother David, will take the field with him from the interchange bench.
Fun fact: Andrew was a winger in his junior years and admitted he struggled to put on weight until he was about 17 or 18. He trialled with the Roosters and North Sydney bears, who considered him ‘lightweight’.