Discussion in 'General Rugby League' started by rhugh89, Feb 27, 2018.
If we are going to put Matt Hilder in there, then Scott Minto should be in first.
Did Scott Minto sew his head back on so he could play against the Storm ? Hilder had a heart as big as Minto's ears.
Barry, I read this I started to sway towards "the Brick" a journeyman who where ever he went lifted the team on his back to get a number of GFs , I know he was just a prop without any fancy ball work or sped to burn or a snappy step but maybe there is something to be said about running hard , quick play the balls and good defense, maybe we under sell Hard men up front who make room for the flashy types - who knows ??
Agreed, Norm Provan played lots, won heaps of grand finals etc playing in a very good side for a lot of years, Ken Irvine, winger scored heaps of tries, played with North Sydney for lots of years didn't win a grand final, didn't make it to grand final.
Both these men, completely different, deserving of an immortal nomination even an induction. Hard to seperate as careers were completely different and now by those judging probably slightly forgotten
NRL to unveil two new Immortals, six new Hall of Fame inductees
Mon 19 Mar 2018, 11:15 AM
Rugby league's age-old Immortal debate just got juicier with the prospect of two additional Immortals being added to the game's most prestigious club in 2018.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg confirmed the Immortals relaunching alongside modern day greats Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer on Monday, with an induction to now be made every four years.
Meninga and Lockyer will be among many contenders for inclusion in the current eight-man Immortals group alongside the likes of St George icon Norm Provan, Roosters great Dally Messenger, legendary halfbacks Peter Sterling and Allan Langer, Ron Coote, Brad Fittler and record-breaking 1930s centre Dave Brown. The judging process will run up until an official vote in July.
The NRL is also revamping its Hall of Fame, with another six retired stars to be inducted alongside the inaugural 100 players first named as members during the 2008 Centenary Year celebrations.
Having now been officially brought under the NRL's banner, both the Immortals and Hall of Fame will have new eligibility criteria and structures outlined in a bid to add prestige and transparency around the game's highest awards.
"This is a significant occasion for our game as we celebrate the history of rugby league and recognise those who have shaped it," Greenberg said.
"Without question, one of the biggest topics in rugby league revolves around comparisons between heroes of our game… whether it's players from decades ago or those from the modern era.
"This year, we will induct an additional six players into a new NRL Hall of Fame.
"They will join the 100 Greats – named in our Centenary year 10 years ago – who gain automatic induction into the NRL Hall of Fame as the Charter Class.
"We will also relaunch the Immortals, with up to two players being given the ultimate honour in our game, every four years.
"And the first of those new Immortals will be chosen this year."
Messenger and Brown enter the Immortals race
Brad Walter Senior Reporter
Mon 19 Mar 2018, 12:00 PM
Dally Messenger or Darren Lockyer? Dave Brown or Mal Meninga? And what about Norm Provan?
Those are questions which are set to be debated until the next Immortals are inducted at the end of the Telstra Premiership season after the NRL introduced new initiatives to acknowledge the 110-year history of the game.
For the first time since the establishment of the Immortals concept in 1981, players from the pre-World War II era will be considered - meaning the feats of Messenger and Brown will be compared to those of Lockyer, Meninga, Provan and another 87 eligible players.
The Immortals re-launch has occurred after the NRL acquired ownership of Rugby League Week following the closure of the magazine last year.
With the game also taking control of the Dally M awards there are now three tiers of recognition for the achievements of the game’s best players:
NRL Awards Manager Frank Puletua has spent 12 months establishing a process and rules that ensure the game's history will be celebrated more regularly and with greater integrity than in the past.
Hall of Fame & Immortals program explained
From this season, up to two Immortals will be selected every four years and those players will be nominated from the Hall of Fame, which currently comprises the 100 players inducted during the game's centenary celebrations in 1908.
Eight of those players – Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, John Raper (all 1981), Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis (both 1999), Arthur Beetson (2003) and Andrew Johns (2012) – have already been given Immortals status, leaving 92 eligible for consideration this year.
To be chosen as an Immortal is the greatest honour a player can receive and it is widely considered that to earn the accolade a player needs to have changed the game or had an impact beyond his career.
In addition, a further six players will be inducted to the Hall of Fame from a short list of 25 to be announced next month, which is likely to include some players who were ineligible in 2008 as they were still either playing or hadn't been retired for five years.
Current superstars such as Jonathan Thurston and Cameron Smith cannot be considered for nomination as Immortals before 2025 as they will not have been retired for five years when the next nominations are made in 2021.
However, they may be eligible for inclusion in the Hall of Fame before then as up to four new inductees will be selected every year.
There will also be Hall of Fame categories for coaches, referees and contributors, such as administrators, commentators and journalists.
Among those likely to come under consideration as contributors are JJ Giltinan, Jersey Flegg, Ken Arthurson, John Quayle, Frank Hyde and Rex Mossop.
A screening committee will choose five players to be considered as Immortals and a voting panel will select a minimum of one and a maximum of two.
Great to see the Hall of Fame re-launched, We haven't had any inductees since 2007
I like the idea of 2 new immortals every 4 years as well
Great to hear they have scrapped the post 1945 rule as well because too often the great players prior to that are forgotten
I also like the fact that current greats won't be eligible for a few years, It's a chance to put things right
4 years is a bit short i'd prefer 8 years that seems to be about right for a career, id also like them to be able to say no immortal this year, not so much now but once we start getting up around 20 we start diluting the talent and what I think makes it so good is the quality that miss out
I agree, we've only had 8 since 1981 and 2 since 2000.
As long as they don't include Cam Smith.
A grub who had two contracts during the Storm's notorious cheating days and that stays with him same as Gallen et al drug cheating taking the 'convenience' plea.
Gallen was never in the conversation to become an immortal anyway, even before the peptide stuff came up. Everything that was said about him being a plodder who racked up stats before the peptides was right. Same goes for the others.
The 25 nominees to be inducted into the Hall of Fame have been announced, This will be cut down to the final 6 inductees following a voting process
Just a reminder that to take the next step and become an Immortal you must first be in the hall of fame
2018 Hall of Fame Nominees
1. Greg Alexander
2. Royce Simmons
3. Gorden Tallis
4. Bob Lindner
5. Steve Renouf
6. Petero Civoniceva
7. Ricky Stuart
8. Kevin Walters
9. Michael O'Connor
10. Cliff Lyons
11. Steve Menzies
12. Mark Graham
13. Ruben Wiki
14. Stacey Jones
15. Paul Harragon
16. Danny Buderus
17. Craig Young
18. Rod Reddy
19. Denis Flannery
20. Elwyn Walters
21. Ian Moir
22. Jack Watkins
23. Peter Dimond
24. Ron Lynch
25. Wally O'Connell
Hall of Fame Final Ballot 2018
Sat 28 Apr 2018, 10:01 PM
After much deliberation, the 25 finalists have been decided for the National Rugby League Hall of Fame Ballot. Six players will be formally inducted, with a panel of experts to mull over the talented list stretching all the way back to 1908.
Bob Lindner, a big, bustling forward, was a virtual automatic pick for Queensland and Australia between 1986 and 1993. A mighty forward despite three broken legs at critical points of his career, the highlight of his football life was probably the 1990 Kangaroo tour. This is what the experts said:
Peter Frilingos (Telegraph Mirror): "I haven't seen Bob Lindner play even a moderate game on tour ... he's been the outstanding performer".
Tony Durkin (Rugby League Week): "Lindner's performances after the first match were nothing short of magnificent".
Ray Hadley (Radio 2UE): "I'd have to take Lindner as the best player from Glenn Lazarus ..."
Mal Meninga wrote of Lindner in My Game, Your Game, 'There has been no greater competitor than Lindner, whose Test and State of Origin performances often won him man-of-the-match status ... Bobby is in the Bradley Clyde mould of perpetual motion and has the speed and strength to match any back-rower of his era.'
Lindner also went on the 1986 Kangaroo tour and played in the 1992 World Cup. At Oldham in England he was captain-coach and averted the team's relegation to the second division. He was recruited by the South Queensland Crushers as a player in 1995, but retired and took over as coach until their demise in 1997.
A late bloomer in club football, Lyons persevered to become one of the outstanding five-eighths, winning two Dally M awards.
Born in Narrandera, Lyons had an inauspicious stint at Cronulla before returning home to play in the Riverina. But his deft skills eventually attracted attention during spells with North Sydney, Manly, Leeds and Sheffield Eagles.
After joining Manly in 1986, Lyons became a linchpin of Bob Fulton's premiership-winning side of the following year. He won the Clive Churchill Medal in the grand final against Canberra to cap a fine season when he also made his Origin debut.
In 1990, at the age of 29, Lyons won the Dally M player-of-the-year award and was called into the Australian team for the Kangaroo tour. After missing the first Test loss, Lyons played a vital role in winning the Ashes, particularly in the fightback that won the second Test.
A second gold Dally M was awarded to Lyons in 1994 and in the following season he played in the first of three consecutive grand finals, a sequence that included a victory over St George in 1996.
Lyons established a Manly record for most first grade appearances and played 332 first-grade games in all.
For the years book-ended by the 1978 and 1982 Kangaroo tours, Craig Young was the best prop in the game. An Illawarra coal miner before he signed with St George in 1977, Young was an instant success, as the team known as "Bath's Babes" overcame minor premiers Parramatta in a brutal grand-final replay.
After starring in England in 1978, Young became St George captain in 1979, a role he kept for most of the next decade. In his first season at the helm, he led Saints to a dominant premiership victory, but though he continued to play plenty of high-quality football for the next nine years, he never quite repeated the exceptional form he displayed that year.
Even so, Young built a total of 20 Test caps and led his club to the 1985 grand final, having inspired the man who would succeed him in the Australian front row.
"I would always take the part of one of my two heroes, Craig Young or Arthur Beetson, when we played in the backyard", Steve Roach wrote in his autobiography. "As my career with Balmain progressed I made a point of studying Young's playing style on video, and Beetson's as well."
Following his retirement at the 1988 season, Young was immediately appointed St George's first-grade coach, a sign of the great esteem with which he was held at the club. However, the move was not a success, and he was replaced by Brian Smith after just two years in charge.
After demonstrating his potential as a teenager with the Australian Schoolboys, Danny Buderus signed with the Newcastle Knights in 1995. The Taree-born hooker made his NRL debut in 1997, becoming a permanent fixture with Newcastle over the next decade. He formed a highly productive combination with Knights halfback Andrew Johns. Significantly, the Knights had only one victory in 10 years when both players were absent.
Buderus was an essential part of Newcastle's premiership winning side in 2001, the same season in which he made his Test debut for Australia. His Origin debut followed in 2002, when he was named "Hooker Of The Year"' for the first time.
The 2004 season was a watershed year for Buderus. He never missed a game at club or representative level, took over the NSW captaincy, steered the Blues to a 2–1 victory against Queensland, was named Australian captain and became the first hooker to be awarded the Dally M medal for the best player in the NRL. No forward had won the award since Gavin Miller in 1989.
Buderus led NSW to another 2–1 victory in 2005 and then played an inspirational role in game three of the Blues' 2–1 series loss in 2006. Buderus notched his 200th NRL game for the Knights in 2007 by which time he had spent six of 11 seasons - almost 60 per cent of his career - involved with representative football for NSW (17 appearances) and Australia (24 Tests).
Denis Flannery was one of Queensland's rugby league greats of the 1950s. A champion sprinter and a winger who possessed a sidestep and a swerve that reputedly could make opponents look like amateurs, Flannery was a regular in Australian sides for much of that decade.
A product of Nudgee College and Ipswich Grammar School, Flannery made his debut for Queensland in 1948 and won his first Australian cap in the second Ashes Test of 1950, when Australia stunned Great Britain 15–3 at the Brisbane Cricket Ground.
He played Test football in 1951 and 1952, was in the Australian World Cup squad in 1954, and continued to represent Queensland and Australia until 1956. He bowed out of big-time football after the 1956–57 Kangaroo tour.
On the 1952–53 Kangaroo tour, he scored 23 tries in 14 games, including hat-tricks against Featherstone Rovers, Doncaster and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Flannery continued with Brothers, serving as player-coach in 1957 and 1958 before retiring at the age of 30. Flannery married Norma Dempsey, the daughter of the former great Kangaroo Dan Dempsey, and he and Norma became the owners of the famous Ulster Hotel at Ipswich.
A five-time premiership winner, Walters was a no-nonsense hooker who could also do a job at prop if required.
Walters did a grand final victory lap three times with South Sydney during their glory days of the late 60s and early 70s and then moved to Easts where he won back-to-back premierships in 1974-75 under the Supercoach Jack Gibson.
The rugged rake pulled on the green and gold of Australia in 20 Tests and was a member of the 1967-68 and 1973 Kangaroo tours.
In 2004 Walters was named at hooker in the South Sydney Dream Team, a grand achievement given the calibre of players to have represented the foundation club since 1908 and a testament to his toughness and technique in an era where scrums were still a contest.
Born and bred in Townsville, Gorden Tallis migrated south to St George in 1992 and made his first State of Origin appearance in 1994. A Queenslander through and through, Tallis sat out the last year of his contract with St George to play for the Broncos. Big, fast and feisty, he became the dominant player in the Brisbane pack. The enforcer would be his role until he retired.
In all, he played 54 games for St George and 158 for Brisbane, and appeared in 17 State of Origin games and three Tri-series games during Super League. He also appeared in eight Tests, plus three Super League Tests. He captained Brisbane and Australia, and won the Clive Churchill medal as best-and-fairest in the 1998 grand final. A natural leader, he would never take a backward step.
In 2001 Tallis suffered a neck injury that revealed a spinal condition that required an operation. Eventually continuing his career with a neck brace, the condition ultimately led to his retirement in 2004. When he departed, it left a huge hole in both the Broncos and Queensland teams. His autobiography, Raging Bull, was well received.
In a stellar 16-year career the graceful Alexander achieved every honour the game has to offer.
The man they call 'Brandy' was a sensation from the very start - winning Dally M Rookie of the Year in 1984 and following that up with the Dally M Medal in 1985 as the game's best player.
Alexander scored 101 tries in 228 games for Penrith and had the honour of captaining the club to their first ever premiership in 1991. He is the only Panther to have won the Dally M Medal and was named halfback in the club's Greatest Team in 2006.
The silky smooth No.7 played in six Origins for NSW and six Tests for Australia and was part of the unbeaten Kangaroo tour party in 1986 and and also the 1990 Kangaroo tour.
In 1995, Alexander joined the fledgling Auckland Warriors for two seasons before returning to the Panthers to see out his career.
Ray Stehr observed all league's great players from the 1930s to the 1980s; Clive Churchill saw them all from 1947 through to his death in 1985. So it carries substantial weight that both men picked Ian Moir in their best all-time teams. In 2004, Moir was also named in Souths' "Dream Team", chosen from all players to have worn the club jumper to that time.
"He is the most elusive speedster I have ever seen, quite the quickest player off the mark, and capable of maintaining his speed for the full length of the field," Churchill wrote in his autobiography. "Moir showed uncanny anticipation of the direction of play and he beat player after player with his deceptive swerve and change of pace".
Moir, who came from Wollongong club Port Kembla to grace Souths from 1952 to 1958, was a prolific tryscorer - 105 for Souths in 110 games, 14 for Wests in 28 games and 44 in representative football in 47 matches, including 26 tries for Australia.
League journalist George Crawford wrote that Moir was the nearest thing to the peerless Harold Horder he had seen. Jack Rayner, Moir's captain coach at Souths, declared him: "A wonderful winger, very clever on his feet and very strong for a small man." Moir was top try scorer on the Kangaroo tour of 1956–57, with 13, and in the premiership final of 1953 he scored three tries as Souths caned St George 31–12.
Jack 'Bluey' Watkins
Jack "Bluey" Watkins wasn't a big man but he was a devastating package, possessing real speed and was rated one of the hardest tacklers to ever play the game. Duncan Thompson once remarked that "when Watkins was there I knew I would be able to conserve all my energy for attack".
A specialist lock, Watkins lost three years of his career to World War I, but after he was discharged in June 1919, he was quickly selected to tour New Zealand with the Australian team.
Watkins' somewhat modest Test record belies the fact he was rated as one of the greats of his era (a preference for veteran players in 1914 and injuries in 1920 and on the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour came at bad times for him).
Frank Burge once declared that Watkins, with his "torpedoing tackles", was the only player he feared and called him "the greatest defending forward in the world". After one stirring Glebe v Easts game, JC Davis wrote in The Referee: "To my view the greatest in the game were Watkins and Burge, the former the greatest of all".
Horrie Miller, long-time secretary of the NSWRL, recalled how "when they got in Bluey's way, they thought a train had hit them". On Watkins' death at 82 in 1974, the renowned league journalist Tom Goodman remembered him as a "tremendous on-field favourite", comparable to Arthur Beetson.
A member of football's famous Walters clan, Kevin was a scheming five-eighth with a fine kicking and passing game. He was the perfect foil at the Broncos for the mercurial Allan Langer and would chalk up 241 games for the club in a stellar career.
Walters came off the bench in Canberra's epic 1989 grand final win over Balmain and then went on to taste premiership glory five more times in Brisbane (1992, 1993, 1997 SL, 1998 and 2000).
In 2000, in the twilight of a great career, he was named Dally M Captain of the Year after leading the Broncos to their 14-6 win over the Sydney Roosters in the decider.
Walters enjoyed a glittering representative career, chalking up 20 State of Origin appearances for Queensland and 11 Tests for Australia. His versatility made him an invaluable member of the 1990 and 1994 Kangaroo tour squads.
Having enjoyed great success as a player and assistant coach for the Maroons, Walters took over as head coach in 2016 and has won both his series at the helm.
One of the toughest players of his era, the powerhouse Graham played 28 Tests for the Kiwis and holds the enviable title of New Zealand's player of the century.
He won a premiership under fellow Kiwi Graham Lowe at Brisbane Norths in 1980 and the following year joined the North Sydney Bears in the Sydney competition.
Graham would rack up eight seasons and 146 games for the Bears but it was on the international stage that the giant second-rower really made his mark.
In 1985, Graham was at the helm as the Kiwis stunned Australia 18-0 in Auckland, a victory he still considers one of the finest of his career.
Some trepidation greeted Michael O'Connor's switch from rugby union to league in 1983. With undoubted attacking flair, some queried O'Connor's defensive capabilities in the professional rugby code. That scepticism proved unwarranted.
Having played 13 Tests for the Wallabies, O'Connor joined St George and over the next 10 seasons established himself as a prolific goalkicker, a glorious attacking player with a breathtaking sidestep, and as an uncompromising defender in the centres with the Saints (71 games) and Manly (115).
During seven years of interstate football, O'Connor amassed a record of 129 points and in 1991 became part of Origin folklore with a sideline conversion in teeming rain to win game two of that year's series.
His Australian debut came in the first Test against New Zealand in 1986, which made O'Connor the 37th dual rugby international, following Ray Price and preceding Ricky Stuart. Many of his 17 Test appearances were as a winger, because of the depth of talent in the centres provided by the likes of Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Brett Kenny and Laurie Daley.
O'Connor achieved premiership glory in his first season with Manly in 1987. His retirement came in 1992 after a sixth season with the Sea Eagles who he served as captain. In 2006, O'Connor was selected on the wing in a "dream team" of Manly's greatest players from the club's first 60 seasons.
Paul Harragon was one of the most imposing forwards in the 1990s, and a revered leader with Newcastle where he played 169 first-grade games in 12 seasons.
He joined the Knights in 1988 as a rangy winger from Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley. Sheer dedication saw the coal miner's son add 18 kilograms to his tall frame as he made the transition into a hulking forward.
Harragon was an uncompromising front-rower renowned for ferocious tackling and a disregard for his own personal safety. His clashes with Manly prop Mark Carroll and Queensland's Trevor Gillmeister became legendary.
Captaining Newcastle from 1995 to his retirement in 1999, Harragon led the Knights to the 1997 ARL premiership with a last-minute victory against Manly in the Grand Final. Harragon was the first Knights player to captain Australia.
He played 17 Tests, including a Kangaroo tour and two World Cup campaigns, but it was in State of Origin where Harragon really distinguished himself.
He made a NSW record of 20 consecutive appearances for the Blues between 1992 and 1998. Harragon once held the Origin record for most appearances by a NSW forward. Paul Gallen now holds that mark.
Malcolm Reilly described Harragon as one of the most inspirational captains he has witnessed: "Chief would be right up there with the best captains I've had with any international or club side ... because of his inspirational contribution on the park, his expectations of the side and the confidence he portrays as a leader to the troops".
Peter Dimond and his brother Bobby set a record for families when they were both selected to play for Australia at age 19. Bobby made the 1948–49 Kangaroo tour and 10 years later Peter was selected to play against Great Britain.
Peter Dimond was a blockbusting winger or centre who spread havoc in the opposition defence with his devastating runs. Dimond signed with Western Suburbs in the Sydney competition from Dapto in 1958 and after just a handful of matches was named in the NSW team to play Queensland.
He had a sensational introduction to senior representative football, scoring three tries, which earned him selection in the state team to play Great Britain. This was a spiteful match and Dimond was one of three players sent off for fighting, and the subsequent suspension probably cost him selection in the first Test team. He did play in the final two Tests.
Dimond played in four grand finals — in 1958, 1961, 1962, and 1963 — but there were no happy stories with Wests losing to St George on each occasion. He was one of the outstanding players on the 1963–64 Kangaroo tour, as Australia recaptured the Ashes.
Dimond played in all six Tests, with one of the highlights being the two tries he scored in Australia's 50–12 destruction of Great Britain at Swinton. His final Test appearance was in the centre in the Ashes deciding third Test in 1966, which Australia won 19–14 at the SCG.
Fijian-born, and a Redcliffe Junior, Petero Civoniceva was a prop who had superb fitness and never stopped serving it up to the opposition, yet always in a sportsmanlike manner. He was one of the best in the game in hit-ups, seemingly never tiring, with a characteristic side-on motion as he fought for extra yardage. His consistency was astonishing; he never seemed to have a bad game.
Between 2001 and 2014, Civoniceva played in 33 Origin matches, 45 Tests for Australia and six Tests for Fiji. He was superb in the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament. He had emerged with the Brisbane Broncos in 1998, the season the club won its third premiership. He was also part of title teams in 2000, when he missed the grand final, and 2006.
For 10 seasons from 1998 his sole senior club was the Brisbane Broncos, and for the early seasons of the 21st century he was, with Shane Webcke, half of what most pundits believed to be the best front-row partnership in the world.
In 2007 Civoniceva was caught in a salary-cap controversy, and signed with Penrith for the 2008 season. There was much disappointment felt by Broncos supporters, who have seen him give such devoted service to their club. Not only that, there had never been a hint of impropriety in the way he played and lived. Single-minded, he had given his all, every match. He remains the player's player, and a coach's dream.
Apart from becoming Australia's 38th dual rugby international, Ricky Stuart vied with Allan Langer for the title of league's pre-eminent halfback through the early 1990s. Stuart's trademarks were spiralling cut-out passes, switching the avenue of attack and an accurate kicking game.
Stuart had been a schoolboy union star while attending St Edmund's College in Canberra. But after touring Argentina with the Wallabies in 1987 he joined the Raiders. His presence coincided with Canberra's most successful period.
With a backline featuring Laurie Daley, Mal Meninga and Gary Belcher, Stuart steered the Green Machine to three premierships and a runner-up finish in 1991. He won the Clive Churchill Medal in the 1990 Grand Final and the Dally M player of the year trophy in 1993.
The lasting memory of Stuart's Australian career will be his late dash from his own quarter in the second Test of 1990 that set up Mal Meninga for the try that saved the Ashes. Salary cap pressure forced Stuart to leave Canberra in 1998 after 203 matches. He retired in 2000, finishing his career with the Bulldogs where he played 40 games.
With Stuart's tactical nous, it was inevitable he would turn to coaching. He struck immediate premiership success in his first NRL season at the Sydney Roosters in 2002. He was appointed NSW coach in 2005 and replaced Wayne Bennett as national coach in 2006.
"Rocket" Reddy's football reputation has perhaps been clouded slightly by his performance in the 1977 grand final replay, when he was cautioned five times in the first half, during a fiery match his St George side eventually won 22–0 over Parramatta.
In the lengthy and often emotional debate that followed this controversial game, the cautions and the incidents that led to them disguised the fact that Reddy had been the chief catalyst for the young Saints' team's stunning surge to the premiership.
Hailing from Rockhampton, Reddy had joined St George as a teenager and impressed as a running forward from day one, combining well with Billy Smith.
However, it wasn't until 1977 that he played consistent top-class football, not just making breaks, but also standing in the tackle, impossible to knock down, and giving one-handed passes to supports. He was also an excellent defender.
At his peak at Saints, especially in the two premiership years — 1977 and 1979, when he was the most damaging back-rower in the game - he was the lock, but in rep football he had to compete with Parramatta's Ray Price and Cronulla's Greg Pierce and played in the second row.
Reddy was outstanding on two Kangaroo tours, surprising in 1982 after he was a shock selection following a disappointing club year. Injuries hampered him in the '80s, and he finished his career at the Illawarra Steelers, and then in England.
Ron Lynch was a magnificent lock who would surely have represented more often had he played in a different era. In front of him in the 1960s was the incredible Johnny Raper, which meant he usually had to be considered for the second row.
The first time Lynch and Raper opposed each other in a match was in the 1960 City v Country clash, when Lynch, from Forbes, impressed enough to be named in the NSW second row for the interstate series. Parramatta officials had no doubt about his potential and he was signed for the next season.
In 1961, Lynch was named in the Australian squad for the tour of New Zealand, playing in his first Test match at Carlaw Park and backing up a week later for the second Test. A severe shoulder injury ruined his chances for selection in the 1963–64 Kangaroo tour, but he did tour in 1967–68, appearing in 14 matches including four Tests.
While there were no premierships during his career with the Eels, he did play in four semi-finals (1962, 1964, 1965 and 1971) and one final (1963). Lynch wound up his superb career at Parramatta at the end of 1971 before having two years at Penrith.
One of the game's most loved players and an inspiratiional leader, the nuggety Penrith hooker enjoyed a fairytale farewell in 1991 when he scored two tries in the Panthers' historic maiden grand final win over Canberra.
Simmons' career tally of 237 games places him third all time for Penrith behind only Steve Carter and Craig Gower. In 1986, he became the first Penrith player to represent Australia, and later that year he was part of Wally Lewis' Kangaroos tour party which went through Britain and France unbeaten.
At the peak of his powers, Simmons was a key figure in a dominant NSW side which swept Queensland 3-0 in the 1986 State of Origin series, taking home man of the match honors in Game One.
Built close to the ground and renowned as a fierce competitor, Simmons famously declared he'd have a beer with "every one of you" after the emotional premiership win 1991. And he's just the sort of character who would try to make good on such a promise.
The record holder for most Tests for New Zealand with 55 caps, Ruben Wiki ran with power and passion every time he touched the ball.
The hard-nosed Aucklander displayed incredible longevity during his career, playing 311 games in a 16-year career at Canberra and the Warriors.
A member of the Raiders' 1994 premiership side, Wiki was equally as damaging at centre and the back row. More than a decade after that premiership glory in Canberra, Wiki was still going strong, leading New Zealand to a crushing 24-0 win over Australia in final of the 2005 Tri-Nations.
The mercurial Jones led the New Zealand Warriors to their first ever grand final in 2002, scoring a scintillating try in the 30-8 loss to the Roosters. He capped a superb season in 2002 by winning the Golden Boot as the game's best player.
Second only to Simon Mannering on the list of all time games for the Warriors. Jones was an inspirational leader who orchestrated many famous wins from halfback. His 77 tries for the Warriors is second only to Manu Vatuvei's 152.
Jones played 45 Test matches for his beloved Kiwis, including a starring role in the 2005 Tri-Nations final, which New Zealand won 24-0 against Australia.
Wearing his trademark protective headwear, Steve Menzies is the most prolific try-scoring forward in the history of Australian club football, and one of the most durable. Predominantly as a second-rower, Menzies' 180 NRL tries were achieved in more than 300 matches with Manly and Northern Eagles.
Menzies' typical method has been to lurk out wide and use his power and elusiveness to break the line. Menzies was also a constant threat under the high ball, using his 190cm frame and vertical leaping prowess to advantage.
Menzies captured the attention during his second-season at Manly in 1994, scoring 16 tries and being named Rookie of the Year. Menzies finished runner-up in the Rothman's Medal behind David Fairleigh and was selected for the Kangaroo tour. In 1995, he became the first forward in 50 years to be the premiership's leading tryscorer. That year was the first of three consecutive grand final appearances for Menzies, who crossed the line in Manly's 1996 victory.
Menzies' versatility was a blessing for representative selectors, being used as a replacement in 12 of his 20 NSW appearances. He was a second-rower in Manly's 'Dream Team' selected in 2006. Club legend Ken Arthurson once said: 'Everybody talks about his attack but what about his defence? When he hits them, they certainly stay hit.'
Steve Renouf provides a role model for all youth, but in particular Aboriginal youth. Murgon born and bred, he is testimony of what hard work with natural ability can do.
His speed off the mark was legendary, and during his career he left hundreds of opponents diving at thin air as he changed gears and pressed the accelerator button. He played 183 games for Brisbane from 1989 to 1999, and scored 142 tries, a remarkable performance.
Renouf also scored 10 tries for Australia in nine Tests. He was pace personified and achieved all this despite having been diagnosed as a diabetic.
His Origin debut was in 1991, and his performances for Queensland and the Broncos, most notably in the 1992 grand final when he scored a length-of-the-field try, put him into the 1992 World Cup squad. His late try in the Cup final was pivotal in Australia's victory.
There were highlights aplenty in his career, including back-to-back grand final victories, a record 23 tries in one season with the Broncos (1994), and a three-try Test performance against France. He scored four tries in a match for the Broncos on five occasions. A broken jaw, foot and arm slowed his career at key points, but he was ever a crowd favourite who could score from any position on the field.
Born in 1923, Wally O'Connell had the honour of leading the Kangaroos in the first Test of the 1948–49 tour. In France on that tour the locals dubbed the 162cm and 73.5kg powerhouse "Le Cannonball".
When O'Connell was overlooked by Easts for the coaching job after that Roo tour, he went to Wollongong for a season and from there signed a three-year deal to captain-coach Manly-Warringah. Easts appealed to the NSWRL on the basis that O'Connell was not residentially qualified to play for the Sea Eagles and the League agreed, ordering him to play with Easts.
O'Connell instead opted to be the non-playing coach at Manly for a season - costing him the chance to play in the 1950 Ashes Tests - before returning to the field as Manly's captain-coach. He played again for Australia in 1951, the year he and Ken Arthurson were the halves in the first Manly team to make a first-grade grand final.
The most remarkable aspect of the O'Connell career is that he had poor peripheral vision, the product of a childhood accident, yet somehow became a rugby league champion.
"He was one of the best tacklers I ever saw," said Ferris Ashton.
"He didn't need anyone to help him; he would tackle low and no matter how big the fellow was he would come down like a tree."
NRL.com launches Hall of Fame mini-site
Mon 14 May 2018, 01:17 PM
The NRL has launched a brand new, one-stop shop website ahead of the historic Immortals and Hall of Fame inductions later this year: nrl.com/hall-of-fame
Up to two legends of the game will be crowned Immortals in August while another six retirees will be added to the revamped Hall of Fame in 2018, and fans can now access all the latest news and information on the concept at NRL.com's new pop-up webpage.
Included on the site are comprehensive profiles, exclusive interviews and videos with the eight current Immortals and the contenders to join them; from pioneers Dally Messenger and Dave Brown to modern day greats Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer.
Fans can also follow all the latest news and updates as the 25-man shortlist of Hall of Fame nominations is whittled down over the coming months, with the likes of Greg Alexander, Craig Young, Stacey Jones and Kevin Walters just some of the figures in line for one of rugby league's highest individual honours.
Also available are full explanations of the exhaustive screening processes and voting procedures behind the game's new awards system, before the game's historic induction ceremony in August.
Check out the Hall of Fame mini-site
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