The NRL All Stars were a rugby league football team comprised of National Rugby League professionals. The NRL All Stars coach also chose two extra players. This side competed against the Indigenous All Stars in the annual NRL All Stars Game. The World All Stars took their position in 2016.
The game was created by the National Rugby League (NRL) to celebrate its 10th anniversary and to give its fans something new to get excited about. The inaugural match was played on July 15, 2006, at halftime of the Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants NFL game. The All Stars defeated the Indigenous All Stars 24-6 at Melbourne's Olympic Park.
In 2007, the NRL All Stars traveled to Hawaii where they played three matches against local teams. They finished their first season with four wins and six losses. In 2008, the All Stars had more success with five wins and three losses. They returned home for the 2009 season and continued to have success by finishing second on the table behind minor premiers Canberra. The 2010 season saw another second place finish but this time behind North Queensland. In 2011, the All Stars finished last on the table and missed out on qualifying for the finals for the first time since their debut year. In 2012, there was no change to the lineup and the All Stars finished again last on the table.
Preston Campbell, a well-known indigenous rugby league player, was a major influence behind the establishment of a curtain-raising match between the Indigenous All Stars and the NRL All Stars in 2010. On February 13, 2010, the Indigenous All Stars played what appears to be an annual encounter against the National Rugby League All Stars. The game was held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney and was broadcast live on television.
The Indigenous team was made up of stars from both Australia and New Zealand while the NRL squad was chosen by its administrators. In keeping with custom, any current or former international players were excluded from the selection process. The NRL All Stars won the match 14-12.
Since then, another match has been played each year on the Sunday before Anzac Day. The 2011 match saw the Indigenous team defeat the NRL All Stars 16-14 in front of over 50,000 fans at Eden Park in Auckland.
In 2012, the NRL All Stars won 19-18 in Melbourne thanks to a last-minute try scored by Johnathan Thurston of the NRL All Stars. The 2013 match ended in a 12-all draw after regular time had been played.
After three straight years out of the top four, the Indigenous side finished second on the 2014 ladder behind eventual champion Souths Rabbitohs.
1998 The first National Rugby League (NRL) season of 1998 will include 20 teams, including the 19 surviving Super League and ARL sides, as well as the Melbourne Storm, who were founded by Super League for the 1998 season. Clubs on both sides of the conflict were closed down. Many survived in some form or another, while others disappeared entirely.
The NRL is now composed of 12 city-based clubs and 16 regional league teams. The two major metropolitan conferences are known as the North Division and South Division. Each team plays every other team twice during the regular season (18 games total), with the top eight progressing to the play-offs. The final two positions determine which team qualifies for the finals.
An additional six teams currently participate in a pre-season competition called the Intrust Super Premiership. This division was introduced in 2015 to provide an alternative pathway for aspiring players within the junior rugby league system. Teams are selected by default based on their association with either the Queensland Cup or New South Wales Cup competitions, but any remaining spots are filled through a public draft process. The inaugural season saw four new teams compete, with two coming from outside Australia and one each from Queensland and New South Wales.
The Newcastle Knights have won the most premierships with three. The St George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos have won two each.
During the 1970s, Russell Fairfax was a mega star in both Rugbys. From 1971 to 1973, he played 8 Tests for the Wallabies, and when he switched to Rugby League with Eastern Suburbs in 1974, he won two Premierships, a World Club Challenge, and represented NSW in three matches. In 1975, he returned to the NFL in America, this time with the Washington Redskins, and he stayed there until 1980. During his eight years in Washington, he made six appearances in the Pro Bowl.
Fairfax's father, Ray, had been a national rugby league champion who played five tests for Australia from 1950 to 1952. The younger Fairfax followed in his father's footsteps by playing eight seasons with the Eastern Suburbs Roosters from 1969 to 1976, winning two Premiership medals. He then moved to America to take part in the National Football League, where he became one of the biggest stars of its era. At the age of just 30, Fairfax died in a car accident on his way home from the NFL football team's training camp in North Carolina.
Fairfax played in 80 games for the Redskins, scoring 36 tries and kicking 102 goals.
He was named an All-Star six times, and in 1978, he became the first rookie to be voted onto the Pro Bowl team since 1945 when the Pro Bowl started being held annually.
Pasifika players have become more prevalent in rugby league levels in recent years. In 2011, 30 percent of contractual NRL players were from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, or the Cook Islands. Today, Pasifika ancestry accounts for 45 percent of NRL players.
The most common country of origin for NRL players is Australia, with 88 percent coming from there. The next most common countries of origin are New Zealand and England. 1 percent of players originate from another country in Asia, the Pacific, or Oceania.
NRL clubs can request that players submit a medical certificate to prove they haven't been named in any other sports' leagues. If they fail this test, they can be banned from playing for their club.
Players can also be banned if they show signs of concussion during game play or practice. If a player suffers a head injury during a match, he will be removed from the field of play and sent straight into the locker room. There he will be given instructions on what action to take if he feels like he is experiencing symptoms of a concussion. It is important for him to listen to these instructions because missing time due to concussion is difficult to recover from.
If a player believes that he has been injured in such a way that he may have suffered a brain injury, he should seek immediate medical attention.