Rotorua to host NRL All Stars games in 2023

One of the biggest fixtures on the NRL calendar is coming to New Zealand for the first time next year.

The NRL has confirmed Rotorua has been selected to host the annual All Stars double header in 2023.

The event will see the men’s and women’s Māori All Stars tackle the Indigenous All Stars.

It will be the 12th NRL All Stars fixture and the fifth featuring the Māori and Indigenous teams.

The 2022 All Stars games were staged in Sydney in the lead-up to the NRL season, with the Māori triumphing 16-10 in the men’s match and the Indigenous winning the women’s clash 18-8.

“All Stars brings communities and culture together perhaps like no other week in our calendar. Knowing how important Rotorua is to Māori culture, we are excited to work with the community on becoming the first Aotearoa New Zealand location to host the event,” said NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo.

“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.”

The date for the 2023 fixture is yet to be confirmed but it has been traditionally played in February as a precursor to the NRL season.