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 The Immortals

  immortals

Arthur Beetson, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Cive Churchill, Graeme Langlands, Wally LewisBobby Fulton.

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beetson


Arthur ('Big Artie') Beetson (b.1945)

Clubs: Balmain (1966 - 70 - 74 games), Easts (1971 - 78 -132 games), Parramatta (1979 - 80 -16 games), Redcliffe, Hull KR ('66-'81)

NSW: 18 games (1966-77)

QLD: 3 games (1980-81)

Australia: 14 tests, 14 World Cup Appearances, 1 International, 10 Tour Matches for Australia (1966 - 77) 

Tough, powerful & uncompromising, yet supremely skillful & agile, Arthur Beetson was the quintescential front row forward. His style will forwever be the benchmark for all forwards in the game and whose type coaches dream of having in their team. Beginning his career as a centre in Western Queensland, he quickly rose to national & international status being part of the 1974/75 Easts premiership team, the thorn in the side of the English Lions teams and the pivotal figure in the establishment and succes of State of Origin, having been plucked from the Parramatta's 'reserve grade' to captain Queensland in the historic encounter; in his latter career. His success as a player with Queensland and a guiding force coaching the side in subsequent years, coaching them in 16 games (11 wins) between 1981 - 84 & 1989 - 90, proved his capacity to not only dominate a game as a player, but inspire his troops to victory as a coach.

Career Highlights:- He captained Eastern Suburbs (Sydney) to premierships in 1974 & 1975. He captained Australia to 'World Cup' victories in 1975 & 1977; being the first Aboriginal player to captain the National Team. He coached Australia (1983), Sydney Easts (1986 - 89), Cronulla (1992 - 93) and was formerly an Australian 'selector'.

 




 

gasnier


 Reg Gasnier (b.1939)

Clubs: St. George (131 games - 1959-67)

NSW: 21 games (1959-67)

Australia: 36 Tests, 3 World Cup Games, 1 International, 38 Tour Matches(1959-67)

Reg Gasnier was considered one of the greatest centres to have played the game. Fans in Australia & overseas were in awe of his pace, 'swerve' and handling skills and his unique running style; with his head confidently thrown back as he majestically and gracefully, left those watching speachless. A rare talent, he was arguably involved in (both scoring & setting up) some of the greatest tries ever seen; particularly in the Test arena. He was. of course, an integral part of the unbelievably dominant St. George side of the 1960s; contributing significantly to their premiership success. At 28 years of age, he retired from the game after being injured in a tour match in France.

Career Highlights:- Played in six (6) consecutive premiership winning games (St.George). Test debut in 1959, against New Zealand, (age 20 yrs), and captained Australia at age 23 yrs. Was a leading commentator for the ABC, after retriement.

 


 

raper

Johnny('Chook')Raper MBE (b.1939)

Clubs: Newtown (37 games - 1957 - 58), St. George (186 games - 1959 - 69), Newcastle Wests, Kurri Kurri (1957-73)

NSW: 31 games (1959-70)

Australia: 33 Tests, 6 World Cup Games, 35 Tour Matches (1959-68)

Raper, the eldest of nine (9) children, was one of the  key figures in the famous St. George and Australian sides of the 1960s. He became one of the true champions of the game in both performance & character. Though relatively small and not that 'fleet of foot', he was tough and determined with an instinct for the game that placed him well above many of his contemporaries at the time. He became the quintessential back-rower, defensively & in attack, playing with intensity and dedication. There are few players now, or in the past, that can count eight premierships in their career; this combined with his outstanding  performances in the 'Green & Gold' Australian side made him a true 'legend' of the game.

 

Career Highlights:- Member of eight (8) St. George Premiership winning sides. Scored 149 points in his 186 games for St. George and 27 points for Newtown. Captained Australia eight (8) times. Coached Cronulla (1975 - 76) & Newtown (1978). Australian Selector.

 


 

churchill

  "The Little Master"

Clive ('the little master') Churchill (b.1927-d.1985)

Clubs: Central Newcastle (1947), South Sydney (1947 - 58 - 157 games), Brisbane Norths, Moree (1946-61)


NSW: 37 games (1948-57)


Australia:
 34 Tests (26 as captain), 3 World Cup Games, 54 Tour Matches (1948-57)

 

Clive Churchill was without a doubt one of the pivotal figures of the game; not merely a great player. He re-defined many of the pre-conceived notions regarding aspects of Rugby League, such as the role of the fullback, the type and size of players and the diverse requirements of the League player of his day. Despite being small in physical stature, he was seen as a giant among his peers. Courageous & fearless in his defence & tackling; brilliant & innovative in his attack and greatly admired and applauded for his instinctive & intuitive positional play. He achieved everything that had been predicted by others; and more. His longevity as a player and his incomparable records & acheivements as both club player & test player, along with supreme captaincy & coaching skills ensured he would be one of the first immortals of the game.

Career Hightlights:- Coached South Sydney(1958; 1967 - 75), including four (4) premierships. Has the distinction of having a 'stand' named after him at the Sydney Cricket Ground (the 'Churchill Stand') & is memory, significance & contribution to the game is recognised by the 'Clive Churchill Medal' for the 'Best Player' in the 'Grand Final'.

 


 

langlands

 Graeme ('Changa') Langlands (b.1941)

Clubs: Wollongong, St. George (227 games - 1963-76)


NSW: 36 games (1962-75)


Australia:
 34 Tests, 11 World Cup Games, 3 World Cups (1968, 72 & 75) and 45 Tour Matches (1963-75)

 

Langlands was considered the best fullback in Rugby League during a period of time where the game overflowed with talent. He was part if the 'mighty' St. George Dragons side of the 1960s, being instrumental in the last four (4) grand final wins of the side's eleven consecutive premierships.

Tough & insightful, gifted & astute; Langlands was one of very few players to rise to the very top of the game without objectors or detractors; admired by everyone who witnessed his skills, receiving plaudits from all, both here & abroad, as a result of his immense talent & abilities. He was recognised for his overall mastery of the game by being appointed 'Captain-Coach' of the Australian side.

  

Career Highlights:- Scored a 'club record' 1554 points for St. George. Member of four (4) premiership winning sides (St. George).
Scored 189 points in test football & the first to score 100+ points against Engalnd. One of few players to 'Captain-Coach' the national side.

 


 

wally

"The emperor of Lang Park"....aka "the King".

 Wally ('The King') Lewis AM (b.1959)

 

Clubs: Brisbane Valleys (135 games - 1978 - 83), Wynnum-Manly (76 games - 1984 - 87), Brisbane Broncos (50 games - 1988 - 90), Gold Coast (37 games - 1991 - 92), Wakefield Trinity (10 games - 1978-92)


QLD:
42 games (1979-91) includes 31 Origin games

 

Australia: 33 Tests, 1 World Cup Game, 19 Tour Matches(1981-91)

 

Without any doubt, Wally Lewis was Queensland's greatest ever player and arguably one of the nation's best. His ability to 'read a game' & 'think on his feet' made him an incredibly difficult player to compete against. His 'Kicking & Passing' was considered to be as good as any that had played the game (before or sonce) and he was able to place his stamp of authority & 'genius' at every level (club, state & national). His complete dominance in the early to mid-eighties, particularly, ensured the success of 'State of Origin' and certainly contributed significantly to the expansion of the national game with the advent of the Brisbane Broncos; being the inaugural 'captain'. Those critics who doubted his capacity to perform in the 'Sydney' competition were silenced by his complete control of the Broncos team that anihilated the reigning premiers 'Manly' in their first encounter.

Career Highlights:- Member of the 1977 Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union team. Captained Australia in 23 tests & one (1) World Cup. Queensland captain from 1980 to 1991. Won a record seven (7) 'man of the match' awards during State of Origin. Coached the Queensland Origin team in 1993 & 1994. Coached Gold Coast from 1991 to 1993; being the last player to ever 'captain-coach' a team in the National Competition. In honour of his contribution to and impact upon the game, a statue was erected in 1992 at Lang Park in Brisbane. He maintains involvement in the game through his role as a sports commentator.

 


 

fulton

Bobby Fulton (b.1947)
 

Clubs: W'gong Wests, Manly (163 games -1966 - 76), Easts (50 games - 1977 - 79), Warrington (1965-79 - 'off-season')

 

NSW: 16 games (1967-78)


Australia:
20 Tests, 17 World Cup Games, 2 Internationals, 22 Tour Matches (1968-78)

 

Bob Fulton was born in English Rugby League's 'heartland' of Warrington. Beginning his 'national' career with Manly, he quickly stamped himself as a prodigous talent and 'star' of the game. His blinding acceleration, step, swerve & strength enabled him to 'find gaps' where there appeared none. Combined with his astute 'football brain' & ability to 'read the game', he soon became a feared opponent. Playing either five-eighth or centre, Fulton could 'turn a game' like no other. He excelled at the highest level; the greater the game or occasion, the more outstanding the performance. His 'on-field' ability to control a game and inspire those around him with his individual brilliance, led to him leading his country in seven (7) of his twenty (20) tests and ultimately being appointed coach of the 'Kangaroos' in 1988. Fulton played in five (5) grand finals with Manly; winning three (3) and between Manly & Easts, played in 213 first grade games.

 

Career Highlights:- Played in five (5) grand finals with Manly, winning three (3); Coached both Easts (1983 - 88) & Manly (1993 -)' Coached the Asutralian Rugby League side - appointed in 1988. Named one of the original four (4) immortals.

 


 

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