It’s never easy to rank the best Rugby league players because fans, coaches, sports data analysts, and the media always have an opinion who deserves to make it to the list. It’s a never ending debate, though some prominent names are in any list of rugby greats you read. If you’re a rugby league fan looking for the best rugby league information, you won’t have such trouble making the right decision because you can check out the latest NRL Tips for the upcoming season.
It’s easy to agree on the crème de la crème of today’s Rugby League with so much information available from James Tedesco, Cameron Smith, Jason Taumalolo, Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, to Ryan Papenhuyzen and others.
A look back to the greatest in the Rugby league history requires a more insightful look because you never watched most of these greats play. However, the following players deserve a mention in the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
1. Cameron Smith
The Australian professional rugby league footballer is one of the greatest goal-kicking hookers in rugby league history with his dominance pushing him to the apex for club, state and country. It’s rare for someone in the middle of a rugby league field to make such an influence in the game, but this just proves that Cameron is not your ordinary player.
He has won NRL’s Dally M Hooker of the Year on nine occasions, the Dally M Medal as the NRL’s player of the year in 2006 and 2017, Golden Boot Award as the international player of the year in 2007 and 2017.
2. Andrew Johns
Andrew “Joey” Johns is one of the most recognizable rugby league players in Australia and New Zealand. The former played in the 1990s and 2000s. Joey is one of the four players to win the Golden Boot Award more than once.
He’s also only one of the two players to win the Dally M Medal for best player in the NRL three times. Little wonder then that the rugby fans consider Joey to be one of one of the greatest players of all time.
3. Brad Fittler
There’s no doubt that Brad Fittler was one of the greatest players of all time, but unfortunately, he didn’t receive the credit he deserved. From a schoolboy rugby player to one of the most versatile players turning out for New South Wales and Australia, it was a journey that took him to the apex as a captain.
Fittler might not have received the acclaim that Joey did, but he was the better player in some ways. He could play halves, lock, centre, and his strength was impressive.
4. Darren Lockyer
Any list of the greatest rugby players in the league always includes Darren Lockyer, one player who rarely made mistakes. In fact, his fans say he never had an off day, and this makes him a true rugby great. He started with the Broncos in the fullback position and played in other positions. Lockyer represented Queensland State and Australia and
Among his records are the most NRL appearances, most games played for Australia and state of origin, most games played as captain and others. Lockyer also boasts the record of the captain of the most successful state of origin team in history.
While his passing and running game improved with time as he played for the Broncos, Queensland State and the country, it was his competitiveness that truly showed Lockyer’s influence in NRL. He became the backbone of every team he was in and with few mistakes, it was always a delight to watch him play at any level.
5. Reg Gasnier
Reg Gasnier was a classic centre whose speed remains one of the most talked about attributes. The Australian rugby league footballer and coach. From a centre for the St. George Dragons, Gasnier rose to represent the country and held a record for 36 Tests and three World Cup games. He captained the team on eight occasions.
A leg injury might have but short his career, but he still makes it to the list of the greatest rugby players in league History. His acceleration, ability to run through even the minutest gaps and creativity still make him a legend.
Of course there are many other greats who deserve a mention from Arthur Beetson, Wally Lewis, Ron Coote, Clive Churchill, Johnathan Thurston, to Bobby Fulton and others. For an avid rugby fan, a walk down history lane always helps you learn something new and reignites your love for the beautiful game. With sports pundits always comparing the current crop of rugby stars with the legends of the game, you’ll always have a better grasp of how good your favourite rugby star is.