With the Immortals now boasting 13 players, we take a look at how that side would take shape

WITH the NRL making the big call to induct five out of the 10 short-listed nominees as Immortals in 2018, we now have a full starting side.

It doesn’t fit perfectly as we’re still left without a specialist hooker, and with a glut of outside backs we had to push Mal Meninga into the pack.

But regardless, this side vindicates the reverence held for the game’s most elite group.

The Immortals starting 13:

Round 21Brought to you by sportsbet

1. Clive Churchill

2. Dave Brown

3. Reg Gasnier

4. Graeme Langlands

5. Dally Messenger

6. Bob Fulton

7. Wally Lewis

8. Arthur Beetson

9. Andrew Johns

10. Norm Provan

11. Mal Meninga

12. Frank Burge

13. Johnny Raper

Clive Churchill

South Sydney 164 games

NSW 27 games

Australia 37 Tests

The “Little Master” is credited with revolutionising the fullback role; helped Souths win five premierships and the Kangaroos wrest back the Ashes.

Dave Brown

Eastern Suburbs, Warrington 187 games

NSW 19 games

Australia 9 Tests

The “Bradman of League” has records including 285 points on the 1933/34 Kangaroo Tour; 38 tries in the 1935 season for Easts; and a 45-point haul in a club game in 1935.

Reg Gasnier

St George 127 games

NSW 17 games

Australia 39 Tests

Keith Barnes a teammate of the “Prince of Centres” said it best: ‘‘He had everything, a body swerve, speed and acceleration. He could stand you up or run around you.”

Reg Gasnier evades a tackle during Souths v St George first grade semi-final match at SCG — 03/09/1967. Pic News Limited.
Reg Gasnier evades a tackle during Souths v St George first grade semi-final match at SCG — 03/09/1967. Pic News Limited.Source: News Corp Australia

Graeme Langlands

St George 227 games

NSW 35 games

Australia 45 Tests

The greatest pointscorer in St George’s history, “Changa” could pull off the impossible and was a key member of the Dragons’ golden era.

Skipper Graeme Langlands cheered on by his teammates after their victory in the third test, Australia v Great Britain — 20/07/74. pic News Ltd. Rugby League Historical
Skipper Graeme Langlands cheered on by his teammates after their victory in the third test, Australia v Great Britain — 20/07/74. pic News Ltd. Rugby League HistoricalSource: News Corp Australia

Dally Messenger

Eastern Suburbs 48 games

NSW 6 games

Australia 7 Tests

It is said without Dally Messenger there is no rugby league. His defection to the code from rugby union in 1907 gave it immediate popularity and allowed it to grow to what it is today.

Bob Fulton

Manly, Eastern Suburbs 147 games

NSW 17 games

Australia 35 Tests

Bob Fulton was the ultimate competitor and a prolific try-scorer. Manly won three premierships thanks largely to the brilliance of the centre/five-eighth, including the infamous brutal GF against Cronulla where he bagged a double.

Bob Fulton in action during Manly Sea Eagles v Western Suburbs Magpies at Brookvale Oval — 23/04/1972. Pic Ian Whitaker.
Bob Fulton in action during Manly Sea Eagles v Western Suburbs Magpies at Brookvale Oval — 23/04/1972. Pic Ian Whitaker.Source: News Corp Australia

Wally Lewis

Brisbane, Gold Coast 80 games

Queensland 39 games

Australia 34 Tests

“The King” has to be considered the greatest Origin player of all time, having picked up an unprecedented eight man of the matches. He captained the Maroons in 22 consecutive matches and the Kangaroos in 23 straight Tests.

Arthur Beetson

Balmain, Eastern Suburbs, Eels 221 games

NSW games 18

QLD games 3

Australia 29 Tests

Arthur Beetson reinvented the way forwards played the game largely with his second phase play and as the first captain of Queensland he made State of Origin what it is today — an inspirational leader.

Andrew Johns

Knights 249 games

NSW 24 games

Australia 23 Tests

Andrew Johns dominated at club, state and international level for over a decade. Darren Lockyer said there was daylight second when the Novocastrian was on.

Andrew Johns during Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons NRL at EnergyAustralia Stadium — 13/06/03. Pic Brett Costello.
Andrew Johns during Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons NRL at EnergyAustralia Stadium — 13/06/03. Pic Brett Costello.Source: News Corp Australia

Norm Provan

Dragons 256 games

NSW 19 games

Australia 14 Tests

Norm Provan adorns the NRL premiership trophy because he was the ultimate leader. He was a pivotal figure in the first 10 of St George’s 11 straight premierships, including being captain-coach of the last four of those.

Norm Provan becomes the 12th Rugby League Immortal

Norm Provan becomes the 12th Rugby League Immortal

2:49

Mal Meninga

Raiders 166 games

QLD games 32

Australia 46 Tests

Mal Meninga is the only player to go on four Kangaroos tours, which is a record that will never be beaten.

Mal Meninga becomes the 13th Immortal

Mal Meninga becomes the 13th Immortal

5:29

Frank Burge

Dragons, Glebe 167 games

NSW games 6

Australia 13 Tests

Frank Burge was one of the game’s greatest ever attacking forwards, scoring 146 tries in his career.

Johnny Raper

Dragons, Newtown, Wests 261 games

NSW games 24

Australia 39 Tests

Part of the greatest era of rugby league dominance by the Dragons and the complete footballer.

John Raper during the 1967 Kangaroo Tour of England — 12/12/67. Historical Rugby League P/
John Raper during the 1967 Kangaroo Tour of England — 12/12/67. Historical Rugby League P/Source: News Limited

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