You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Newcastle Knights Dane Gagai, Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith have spoken about their pride to be selected to play in the Rugby League All Stars game on the Gold Coast on February 13.

The announcement of the publicly voted Indigenous All Stars squad was eagerly awaited by Gagai who had tuned in to the NRL’s press conferences streamed live online on Monday hoping for his selection.

“I was counting the time down and had my fingers crossed, and when I saw my name on the list it was an exciting moment for me and my family,” Gagai said.

Gagai is honoured to be a part of the All Stars concept which celebrates Indigenous culture in rugby league.

“It means a lot. You can tell over the last couple of years how successful it has been, especially in the Indigenous community,” he added.

“The biggest thing for me I guess is that this is my first representative side."

Another highlight for the 23-year-old is playing alongside some of the game’s most talented and highly rated.

“It will be exciting playing alongside some of the guys you watched growing up,” he said.

“I just want to do my family's name proud and the Indigenous community proud and hopefully have fun while doing it.

“I always like going out and doing things in the community especially and going out and giving back."

Meanwhile, Scott and Smith are delighted to be a part of the All Stars match selected by former coach Wayne Bennett.  

For Smith, it’s the fact that players are sourced from 16 NRL Clubs and the challenge of playing against a highly competitive Indigenous side that excites him most about the match.

“The week itself is about getting out there, going to schools and doing clinics, so that’s right up my alley,” Smith said.

The 34-year-old veteran will lineup alongside Knights teammate Scott, who was singled out to captain the star studded NRL side.

“It was a bit of a surprise really. There are players in that team that are captains of their own Clubs and have been around for a long time,” Scott reflected about the role.

“I’m really excited to be able to captain this team.

“I think that this game celebrates Indigenous culture and when we get other on the Gold Coast for a week and can really get out there and push that.

“From all accounts it will be a good week leading up to the game on the Friday night.”