NRL Māori All Stars recruit Jackson Topine

By Te Ao - Māori News

Māori All Stars debutante Jackson Topine is reclaiming his identity as he gears up to represent his whānau and iwi in tomorrow night's NRL All Stars game.

The match will see the Māori All Stars go head-to-head with the Indigenous Australian team at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville. 

The Bulldogs second rower is one of is one of six players added to the team this week after Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Reimis and Brandon Smith, Jahrome Hughes and Nelson Asofa-Solomona were all ruled out of the match due to Victoria state border restrictions.

In an interview alongside Bulldogs team-mate Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Topine says he lost a lot of his cultural identity having spent his teenage years in Australia.

"So to get in touch with that Māori side of me and to be invited to this camp late, obviously because of the Melbourne Storm players, but being a young felle - not even debuted yet - it's a extreme privilege and honour to be able to wear the jersey and do the haka with the boys."

Tomorrow's tournament will see the Māori Women's team go up against the Indigenous Australian side at 4.40pm (AEST).

Kick off for the Māori Men's and Indigenous Australian teams at 7.10pm (AEST).