The search for the greatest international rugby league team of all time is now at the final position - Lock/Loose Forward depending on where you live. The position , like many others has changed over tine and there has been a huge number of players deserving of the position for all sorts of reasons. To start us off, we have narrowed the list to the group below - all great players. We will narrow this down to four and then select the player from that final group based upon feedback from fans, their statistical record and recognition by peers and organsisations over the years.
🇦🇺 Ray Price - Mr Perpetual Motion never really wanted to hurt anybody playing football – he just felt an obligation. Selected as Australia's best player in the 1979 Ashes series - an accolade in itself
🏴 Malcolm Reilly - Revered in both hemispheres - A ruthless lynchpin of the last Great Britain team to win an Ashes series, terrorising the Australian and New Zealand forwards on the near-flawless 1970 tour
🇳🇿 Tawere Nikau - As a player, he was known for his high energy, fearless charges and terrifying facial expressions. In defence he was often seen to be "everywhere"; make a tackle on one side of the field and then the other.
🇹🇴 Jason Taumalolo - Even though he is still at the top of his career it's hard to not consider him - not only for his rampaging play but also his immense influence on the rise of Tonga as an international powerhouse
🏴 Dave Valentine - Will always be the first ever captain to lift a Rugby World Cup - he also played in series against France, New Zealand and Australia
🇦🇺 Bradley Clyde - Had an innate ability to bust an opposition's defensive line, creating space for the backline - he was also relentless and would invariably make himself available for the hard yeards too
🇦🇺 Wally Prigg - In a decade of fine lock forwards he stood out - He was the 1st Aussie player to tour 3 times and the only player to make three sea voyages to England - he spent more than a year of his life as a Kangaroo tourist.
🏴 Ellery Hanley - had a star career in both hemispheres - a try scoring maching with uncompromising defence and outstanding leadership. Golden Boot winner too
🇦🇺 Johnny Raper - "He was small and not all that quick but he had rare football instincts and courage." - ''When Johnny Raper was born, they not only destroyed the mould, they pulped it."
🏴 Johnny Whiteley - "Gentleman John" had now one but two Ashes winnings tours to Australia in 1958 and 1962 In between those tours featured in the last Great Britain side to win a test series against Australia on home soil.
🇦🇺 Ron Coote - A tall and gifted athlete - he was a superb cover-defender and fast and powerful with the ball in hand. "I can’t think of any forward a coach or player would rather be out there with.” (Jack Gibson)
🇦🇺 Wayne Pearce - Re-wrote the handbook for the position - ''Junior was the toughest bloke I ever saw. He had an inner strength of character and a never-say-die spirit that was indomitable''. (Steve Roach)
🏴 Andy Farrell - Could have played any position - great passing, devastating runner, destructive defence, excellent kicking game, inspirational leader
🇦🇺 Frank Burge - Set new standards for lock-forward play, and often loomed up in support of his three-quarters after long breaks - which is why he averaged more than a try a game in a 17 season career
🏴 Derek Turner - "Rocky" was as hard as his name - he was a part of the superb GB team of the late 50's and early 60's who dominated international rugby league. Rocky never took a backwards step
🏴 Vince Karalius - The "Wild Bull of the Pampas" forged a fearsome reputation as a strong runner of the ball and a devastating tackler - also highly regarded as a brilliant passer of the ball, often with just one of his huge hands.
🏴 Kevin Sinfield - Already known as "Sir Kev" by many - third highest points scorer in British rugby league - as resilient as he was brilliant - one of the best goal kickers in history