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NRL All Stars clash moves to NZ

By AAP
Jazz Tevaga of the Maori All Stars and his team perform a Haka during the pre-match ceremony before the match between the Men's Indigenous All Stars and the Men's Maori All Stars at CommBank Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The annual pre-season NRL All Stars game will be played in New Zealand for the first time in 2023.

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The NRL will take the annual All Stars game overseas for the first time in its 12-year history next season after confirming the fixture would be played in New Zealand.

Rotorua’s International Stadium will host both men’s and women’s games in a double header between the Maori and Indigenous teams.

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The Maori have been involved in the pre-season game since 2019, with the Indigenous side an ever-present since the fixture’s inception in 2010.

No date is yet set for the game although it is expected to be held in late February prior to the start of the 2023 NRL season.

“All Stars brings communities and culture together perhaps like no other week in our calendar, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said.

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“Knowing how important Rotorua is to Maori culture, we are excited to work with the community on becoming the first Aotearoa New Zealand location to host the event.

“The 2023 All Stars game will coincide with the 50-year anniversary of the first Indigenous rugby league tour of New Zealand, and will also be 50 years since Arthur Beetson became the first Indigenous athlete to captain Australia.”

By: George Clarke, AAP

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