Greg Inglis has revealed he could miss next year's NRL All Stars match because of a likely clash with South Sydney's annual Charity Shield game.
The NRL on Monday announced they had revamped the concept, with the Indigenous All Stars to take on a New Zealand Maoris side in Melbourne on February 15.
However Inglis's possible absence threatens to take the gloss off the fixture given his standing as arguably the premier indigenous player in the country and likely successor to Cameron Smith as Australia's next Test captain.
Inglis has been a fixture of the clash since its inception, appearing for the Indigenous All Stars in four of the seven editions of the pre-season fixture.
He is seen as an indigenous role model and his trademark 'goanna' try celebration is a nod to his heritage.
He also captained the indigenous team against the World All Stars in Brisbane in 2015.
But he told AAP he was no certainty to take part because of the Rabbitohs' annual pre-season game against St George Illawarra, which has been pencilled in for the same weekend.
"I think it will probably be played on the same weekend as our Charity Shield match in Mudgee," Inglis said.
"It's a bit of a clash there and we'll address that once it gets to it. Having the All Stars back is great to see, it means a lot."
Pressed on how he will weigh up the decision and when he will make up his mind, Inglis said: "We'll wait and see down the track.
"We'll see how we're tracking as a squad and as a club. I want to play in both but if it's the same weekend or the same day, we'll make a decision then."
Despite not being able to declare he will take part, he praised the decision to include a Maori side to replace the World All Stars, predicting their passion for their culture would match the indigenous team's.
"You've seen that in the 2008 World Cup when the New Zealand Maoris played an Indigenous side here at Allianz Stadium. We saw the passion in that game, it'll be no different," Inglis said.
"It's a respect to the cultures, how passionate the guys are, how proud they are to wear those jerseys.
"It's very similar in so many ways, both cultures, and they play a very similar style."
Australian Associated Press