Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The 2022 edition of the NRL All-Stars game was a great success, with the event taking place in Sydney for the first time as over 26,000 passionate Rugby League fans crowded into CommBank Stadium to watch the Maori All-Stars defeat the Indigenous All-Stars 16-10.
Fans got their money’s worth as an entertaining game with plenty of moments throughout to keep the excitement levels high.
Sydney will most certainly be hosting the event again in the future following last night’s success; however, Maori All-Stars coach David Kidwell has revealed where the NRL All-Stars game will take place in 2023 when speaking in the post-match press conference.
“I saw Andrew Abdo at the end of the game and he promised me that we would take the game back to New Zealand next year,” Kidwell said.
“I think that is a great way for us to showcase (to) the Indigenous, our culture.
“We would be happy with that, being able to showcase this game back home in New Zealand that’s for sure.”
— NRL (@NRL) February 12, 2022
The 2023 NRL All-Stars game could be made all the more monumental as the Warriors have unfortunately just cancelled what was supposed to be their first home game in New Zealand for nearly three years against the Penrith Panthers.
At the moment the rest of their home games in New Zealand will be going ahead as planned, but if for whatever reason they should not go ahead then the 2023 NRL All-Stars game could be the competition’s return to the nation.
It would also allow the Maori All-Stars to finally play this game on their turf and showcase the amazing atmosphere their fans can bring to the event in greater numbers.
To this point, we have never seen the NRL All-Stars game in its current incarnation hosted in New Zealand largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but going forward should have hosting rights every second year.
One can assume that next year’s edition of the NRL All-Stars game will take place in Auckland specifically, as to this point it has been where Rugby League has grown the most in New Zealand thanks to the success of the Warriors being based there.