The Rugby League (NRL) is amongst the hardest competitions around the globe, with only the finest athletes competing. There are several rugby players that stick out among the countless who have performed in this wonderful sport. Fewer sports exhibit the gladiator games type of drive, talent, and toughness like the NRL offers, whether it be at the club level, national selection, or the harsh State of Origins competition.
Nevertheless, like with any sport, several stars have risen from the herd and climbed to the top well over the years, demonstrating why this sport is so amazing. All seven players on our list had an impact on the sport and they fully deserve to be recognized.
- Graeme Langlands;
Graeme Langlands had a long and successful career with the St. George Dragons, lasting from 1959 to 1976. After a career that featured 45 tests for Australia (a first for any Australian test player) and 33 matches for New South Wales, the 4 time NRL championship winner was enshrined as an iconic player in 1999. Which also made him very popular in the casino industry, mostly online casinos in Australia.
Langlands scored 86 touchdowns and kicked 648 goals in 227 NRL games. The fullback/centre was a member of the Dragons’ dominance in the 1950s and 1960s, when the team won 11 straight titles.
- Darren Lockyer;
Lockyer, or “Locky” as he is nicknamed, is unlikely to win any vocal competitions anytime in the near future, but gosh can he dominate rugby league. He was indeed a team player, appearing in 355 games with the Brisbane Broncos between 1995 and 2011. He played 36 matches for Queensland, providing his team with the greatest finishes in NRL history.
He subsequently played for Australia on several occasions, netting 35 touchdowns from a fullback position and also from the five-eighth position. Lockyer is a small structured athlete who beat the odds his whole career with his 5’10 stature. He utilized his strength and knowledge to pursue excellence in his squad, winning four world championships for Brisbane.
- Bob Fulton;
English-born Bob had represented Australia as a five-eight or centre in 35 trials. He was indeed a standout on the pitch during his NRL career, and he was equally impressive as an instructor. Fulton scored over 130 touchdowns throughout a ten-year career, putting him at the top of the all-time top scorers list.
Fulton’s ability to reach the goal line was noteworthy in a period when big scoring matches were not the usual. In 16 appearances for South Wales, he also managed to score 14 tries, while also playing 12 matches for Australia.
- Andrew Jones;
For several league supporters, Jones was a sophisticated idol. As Newcastle Knights’ primary goal shooting alternative, the Cessnock halfback completed 249 games and produced an incredible 2176 points.
Inside a career riddled with controversies, no one questioned his skill on the pitch, and he earned the Dally M Award three times — one of just 2 players to use it. But after a 12-year career that featured three appearances for the English Premiership team Warrington, Johns was granted perpetuity in 2012. He achieved 2 NRL premiership titles for Newcastle during a prosperous period for the club.
- Cameron Smith;
Cam Smith’s history speaks for itself as being one of the greatest Queensland players in the world and maybe the finest leader in the sport. Smith’s calm demeanour and undersized body structure hasn’t prevented the Melbourne Storm captain from conquering the NRL for very well over a decade.
The Storm leader is ice-cool in nearly every match scenario, manages pressure like nobody else and has amazing potential to outperform a game like a few others we have witnessed. Smith, a potential Hall of Famer, received his highest compliment in 2007, since he was granted the Golden Boot Trophy.
- Wally Lewis;
Lewis appeared in 301 league matches, 46 of which were with the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he is intimately connected. Lewis had 20 tries in over 40 games and also another ten for Queensland. His aggressive performance in Origin will never be forgotten.
Despite having two NRL premierships beneath his name and over 30 tests for Australia, Lewis will linger on in rugby league’s Hall of Fame.
- Johnny Raper;
During his 27-year career, Johnny Raper won numerous NRL championships. The lock-forward mostly represented the Dragons and led Australia 8 times. Raper was indeed a crucial figure for the Dragons’ triumph in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and is often regarded as being one of the finest league players of all time.
Johnny was the most astonishing player in his squad, that had lots of raw talent and accomplishments. He, despite now reaching the age of eighty, remains to still be associated with the NRL.