Coach David Furner is unhappy with the amount of Raiders represented in the All Stars game. Photo: Graham Tidy
Canberra coach David Furner will rally the NRL to limit the number of All Stars representatives from each club to three, branding the Raiders' massive representation as unfair.
Six Raiders will feature in next month's pre-season showpiece, more than from any other club, and Furner is concerned it will severely compromise their preparation for the coming season.
Furner had planned to name his strongest side for Canberra's opening trial against defending premier Melbourne in Geelong on February 8, the night before the All Stars clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Reece Robinson will play in the NRL All Stars match. Photo: Graham Tidy
But the selection of David Shillington in the NRL All Stars and Reece Robinson, Jake Foster, Jack Wighton, Joel Thompson and Blake Ferguson in the Indigenous side, has thrown those plans into disarray.
''It's great to get that recognition but I just think there still should be something like three's the limit, because it's unfair,'' Furner told Fairfax Media on Friday.
''I'm working on our team's combinations and confidence, and I really wanted to work hard at it [against Melbourne].
''I can't change that but it should be changed for next year.''
Because of injuries the Raiders will already be without starting hooker Glen Buttriss, prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and playmaker Terry Campese for the Storm clash.
Furner said the shock inclusion of Travis Waddell in the Indigenous side, despite the fact the former Raiders hooker is yet to find another club, proved All Stars selectors could scour second-tier competitions for talent.
''I spoke to them [the NRL] when I was there [in Sydney on Wednesday] and asked them where are the rest of them [All Stars players] coming from?'' Furner said.
''I know they've brought Travvy Waddell back in, but certainly in the NSW Cup and Queensland Cup there'd be players there.
''Everyone loves the concept, it's about giving players an opportunity, but is it all about winning the game, or recognition of indigenous people?
''All players are competitive, and coaches as well, they want to win the game. [But] if they're using someone like Travvy, and he's played there before I understand, well then have a look around.''
Furner suggested the best players at Aboriginal knockout tournaments could be given a chance to showcase themselves to NRL suitors.
''There's a couple of really good knockouts around, maybe pick one of those players to join the Indigenous All Stars and they might get a contract,'' he said.
The Storm will be without Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith for the Geelong trial after they were selected in the NRL All Stars.
''I'm a bit at ease knowing Melbourne will be without their 'big three', blokes like [Anthony] Milford and [Mitch] Cornish will get an opportunity, which is great,'' he said.
''It means the second trial [the week against NSW Cup feeder side Mounties], when I wasn't going to play many of the big boys, I might look at a period of 20-30 minutes where I run what I think is our strongest side.''
Furner couldn't resist a playful dig at Channel Nine, which will broadcast just one Raiders game over the opening 20 rounds of the NRL season.
''The cheeky point I will say is Channel Nine's only giving us one game, and yet we've given them six players,'' he said.