The top 10 greatest players in National Rugby League History
The top 10 greatest players in National Rugby League History.
10. Ron Coote
Taking the lead from the archive footage of Rabbitohs and Roosters games one might find that during Ron Coote’s playing days most match highlights involved the lanky forward. He was a difficult man to tackle and would slide through even the best defenses and always managed to somehow set up support players with perfectly timed passes. In defense, the lock forward had an unpredictable move; Coote was among the best cover defenders the NFL history has ever registered.
9. Wally Lewis
Many teams would want to have Lewis based on his dominance of State of Origin and international rugby league, but at the National Rugby League level, his career never rose to the pinnacle of heights of others. Lewis went on to spend his best years in the Queensland club competition before his association with the Broncos and Gold Coast Seagulls. At his best, he was a match-winning ball-runner who had a long and lethal passing game. He also possessed in him one of the best short-kicking games ever witnessed.
8. Bobby Fulton
Fulton was hailed as one of the great attacking geniuses of the game. He had the required elusive speed to accompany his ball skills and regularly carved up defenses at the club and international levels. The organizational skills and ability of Fulton to read a game placed him ahead of many of his contemporaries. He played with Manly before he moved to the Roosters, and he had represented Australia 35 times. Bobby Fulton was named one of the original four Immortals and went on to have successful coaching and administrative careers.
7. Johnathan Thurston
Thurston began his career with the Bulldogs where he was part of their 2004 premiership-winning team before he headed to his home in Townsville to play out the rest of his career with the Cowboys. The enthusiastic young man with the colorful headgear would go on to be one of the greatest ever halves of the game, wearing the No.7 for his club or the No.6 for Queensland and Australia. Thurston helped the Cowboys to go for their only premiership in 2015 and was a key part of scoring an incredible run of 11 from 12 series victories for Queensland.
6. Arthur Beetson
Beetson began his career with Redcliffe Dolphins in the Brisbane competition and then shifted to Sydney to play with the Balmain Tigers. He enjoyed his premiership success while he was at the club. He played 29 Tests with distinction for Australia and helped Queensland to taste victory in the first ever interstate game played under State of Origin selection rules. Beetson was finally added to the list of Immortals in the year 2003.
5. Darren Lockyer
Lockyer began his journey at the Broncos in the fullback position and soon established himself as one of the premier custodians. He switched to the No.6 jersey, and thereafter his game went on to another level. His running and the passing game developed as he represented his state and country, but the strongest attribute he possessed was always his competitiveness. He, who was never beaten, led teams by example.
4. Reg Gasnier
Called the prince of centers, Gasnier was a key and influential part of the record premiership run of St George Dragons in the 1960s. He averaged over one try per game during his long nine years at the Dragons. He used to set up plenty for his winger Johnny King. As one of the original Immortals, he also contested 39 Tests for Australia. His career was cut short by a bad leg break at the early age of 28, but his swerving runs and ability to keep going through the slightest of gaps were held long in the memories of those who saw him play.
3. Andrew Johns
Johns was considered the greatest ever by many. Johns dominated the halfback position during his career for the Knights, New South Wales, and Australia. He was naturally talented and it would be fair enough to say that no player dedicated his time to improving his wide-ranging skills as much as Johns did. He followed science in his kicking game and his passing was unrivaled.
2. Brad Fittler
Fittler was one of the most wholesome and versatile players to ever play the game. He began his career as a schoolboy in the centers for the Panthers. In no time he started playing for New South Wales and then for Australia not long after. He won premierships with the Panthers before he decided to move to the Roosters where he established himself as one of the game’s greatest five-eighths and captain. Sandwiched into the pack occasionally at the representative level, he was quite capable of mixing it with the forwards in defense as well as remodeling his footwork, speed, and passing game.
1. Cameron Smith
Smith went down into the history books as the most prolific player in the history of rugby league. His unquestionable and beaming dominance at the club, state, and international level was enhanced by the toughness of the position he used to play. The middle of a rugby league field was not a place where someone typically carved out such a long and influential career as Smith did. He avoided his major injury setbacks while revolutionizing the hooker role, directing his club, state, and nation to enviable success.