It’s been a week jam-packed with community visits, media opportunities and training sessions, but nib Newcastle Knight Dane Gagai said he’s been enjoying it all as much as ever in his third year of involvement in the All Stars concept.
Heralding it as an important week in the rugby league calendar because of the values that it promotes, Gagai said that it means a lot to him as an individual as well.
“It’s been a busy week but it’s also been an enjoyable week,” he told Knights TV at a fan event on Wednesday afternoon.
“Being able to get out and give back to the Newcastle community is great.”
While representing his Indigenous culture has always been important to Gagai, he says that playing against the World All Stars makes it even more special.
“Playing for the Indigenous All Stars means a lot,” he explained.
“But I think it means more because we’re playing against the World All Stars boys.
“They have Fijians, Australians, Kiwis… players from all around the world.
“We’ve all just come together to unite, and I think the whole thing is about coming together.”
The Indigenous All Stars have named a side bristling with talent, with Johnathon Thurston, Greg Inglis, Andrew Fifita and Blake Ferguson just a few of the star names that will be on display at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
Gagai said the Indigenous camp wasn’t taking anything for granted though, and the 26-year-old expects a tight game.
“I’ve looked at the opposition and I think we’re a good chance, but obviously they’re no slouches,” he said.
“They’ve got a quality side and we’re going to have to bring our best.”