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TATE BECOMES AN NRL ALL STAR
Brent Tate has won the closest selection race since the Harvey Norman All Stars Game began and will represent the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys in the 4 February match at Skilled Park.
The former Test and State of Origin centre polled 2808 votes from the public in the second stage of voting to beat his teammate Dallas Johnson by a mere two votes.
Tate will come off the interchange bench in his first appearance for the Wayne Bennett-coached NRL All Stars when they play the Indigenous All Stars, captained by Johnathan Thurston and including two more of his NQ teammates Matthew Bowen and Cory Paterson.
Just which Cowboys player would earn the NRL All Stars position was in question until the voting closed at 11pm on Tuesday night.
In the last few days of voting, the lead switched between Tate and Johnson, with the Cowboys' other two players on the shortlist, winger Kalifa Faifai Loa and prop Ashton Sims, not that far behind.
Selection for the All Stars is the latest accolade in Tate's outstanding representative career which had been halted by a third knee reconstruction at the end of the 2010 season.
Now 29, he made his debut for Queensland in 2002 and has played 15 State of Origin matches, the last coming in the 2008 series.
He has also run on for Australia in 23 Tests.