Mitchell returns, Ponga out of All Stars

South Sydney's Latrell Mitchell will be the star attraction when the NRL's All Stars weekend returns next month in New Zealand.

LATRELL MITCHELL. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Latrell Mitchell will make his return for the Indigenous All Stars next month as the first game in New Zealand looks set to be shorn of some of its biggest Maori stars.

Mitchell missed last year's pre-season game with suspension, but will form part of an impressive Indigenous side which includes Brisbane's Selwyn Cobbo, Canterbury winger Josh Addo-Carr and Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton in Rotorua on February 11.

The Maori outfit, however, will be short of some star power with Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga unavailable for the third year running.

New Dolphins recruits Jesse and Kenny Bromwich aren't included and Warriors fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is also absent.

Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been selected in the Maori side for the first time in his career and will link up with James Fisher-Harris, Nelson Asofa-Solomon, Joe Tapine and Jordan Riki in the pack.

The middle is where the Indigenous side may be found wanting with Andrew Fifita retiring last year and Reuben Cotter, David Fifita and Wade Graham all not selected.

But the game's viability could be under threat due to the current wrangle between the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) over the collective bargaining agreement.

Maori forward Riki claimed on Wednesday that players would consider withdrawing from the game if there had not been sufficient progress.

"I love to represent my culture, (it's) always a big thing for me," he said.

"I'm hoping it goes ahead but at the end of the day if it doesn't I fully understand and back the players (union) - they've got my 100 per cent backing."

The women's game, which will form part of a double header, will be without Indigenous fullback Tamika Upton, who finished second in last year's Dally M awards.

The winner of that award and the Golden Boot, Maori halfback Raecene McGregor, is out injured although sevens convert Gayle Broughton has been named in the squad.

Players are also yet to decide how they will help promote the match, with a blanket boycott on dealing with NRL staff for season promotions still in place.

The union will speak to players on that subject before they enter camp, but there is a feeling players could be more open to selling the event given most promotions are through work in the community.

Maori All Stars (Men): Jesse Arthars, Daejarn Asi, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Zach Dockar-Clay, James Fisher-Harris, Corey Harawira-Naera, Morgan Harper, Royce Hunt, Joseph Manu, Zane Musgrove, Briton Nikora, Hayze Perham, Adam Pompey, Jordan Rapana, Jordan Riki, Joseph Tapine, Starford Toa, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dylan Walker, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

Indigenous All Stars (Men): Josh Addo-Carr, Bailey Butler, Selwyn Cobbo, Tyrell Fuimaono, J'maine Hopgood, Nicho Hynes, Ryan James, Josh Kerr, Ezra Mam, Latrell Mitchell, Shaquai Mitchell, Kierran Moseley, Brent Naden, Tyrone Peachey, Tyrell Sloan, Chris Smith, Will Smith, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Cody Walker, Jack Wighton

Maori All Stars (Women): Brooke Anderson, Destiny Brill, Gayle Broughton, Harata Butler, Kahu Cassidy, Kennedy Cherrington, Laikha Clarke, Zali Fay, Mya Hill-Moana, Olivia Kernick, Shannon Mato, Capri Paekau, Aaliyah Paki, Shanice Parker, Ashleigh Quinlan, Tiana Raftstrand-Smith,Jasmin Strange, Zahara Temara, Kailey Thompson, Amy Turner

Indigenous All Stars (Women): Essay Banu, Shaylee Bent, Jaime Chapman, Bree Chester, Kirra Dibb, Quincy Dodd, Taliah Fuimaono, Tallisha Harden, Caitlan Johnston, Keilee Joseph, Bobbi Law, Mia Middleton, Sareka Mooka, Jasmine Peters, Kaitlyn Phillips, Shaniah Power, Jada Taylor, Tahlulah Tillett.