BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: (L-R) Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith of the Maroons pose with the State of Origin Trophy and celebrate winning the series game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A little over a year ago I released an article on the website titled 10 players who could be the next Immortal and it may have stirred a little controversy amongst Zero Tackle fans.

So for that reason and due to the fact that we’ve had a whopping five ex-players become immortals since then, lets check on how the 10 players are currently going in terms of becoming immortals.

Mal Meninga

Not really much to say here. Mal Meninga has been recognised for his contributions to the game, being inducted as an immortal earlier this year.

ENGLAND – 1994: Mal Meninga of the Kangaroos poses for a photo during the Australian Kangaroos Rugby League photocall for the upcoming tour of Great Britain held in England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Darren Lockyer

Lockyer was one of the favourites to be inducted earlier this year but ended up missing out. However, he will likely receive the honour of becoming an immortal after the next voting process, otherwise he will no longer be eligible.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Darren Lockyer of the Broncos in attack during the NRL second semi final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)

Peter Sterling

Sterling is currently apart of Channel 9’s commentary team and unfortunately, barely had a mention come immortals voting time. It would be unfortunate if Sterlo was to miss out as he was at the forefront for the Parramatta Eels throughout their reign of dominance in the early to mid 1980’s. Sterlo is still a name that gets thrown around for the honour, however we hope the mentions of Sterling become more prominent in the coming years.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 13: Channel 9 commentator Peter Sterling is seen before the round one NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Olympic Park on March 13, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Jonathan Thurston

Of course Jonathan Thurston has recently retired, meaning in the near future he will be eligible to become an immortal. Most would agree that it is not a matter of if but when Thurston will become an immortal. As a personal prediction, he may miss out on the next round of induction, which will possibly be due to ineligibility and players with their last opportunity (such as Lockyer) getting the nod.

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TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys is chaired from the ground after playing his last home NRL match during the round 24 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Parramatta Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium on August 24, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Nathan Hindmarsh

It would seem that this next player will not become an immortal and it is a shame. Nathan Hindmarsh is one of the greatest defensive players in rugby league history, being the first ever player to reach over 10,000 tackles. However, due to how he is portrayed in the media as “the guy who has never won a premiership and eats a lot”, Hindmarsh is not thought as by most as the amazing player he was. Although how he is portrayed is indeed a running gag on a tv show, it leaves a specific impression of Hindmarsh in a lot of people’s minds, lets just hope those minds do not include those of future immortal voters.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 17: Eels captain Nathan Hindmarsh looks on before the NRL trial match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at Centrebet Stadium on February 17, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith will likely go around again for the Melbourne Storm and plans to play on in 2019. Smith’s story is similar to that of Thurston as many agree that he WILL become an immortal. However, it likely will not occur for a few years. Another prediction, Smith will likely get inducted with Thurston.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 28: Cameron Smith of the Melbourne Storm runs with the ball during the round 20 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on July 28, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Greg Alexander

Alexander is currently a commentator for Fox League and is on the Panthers’ board of directors. Alexander is similar to Sterling as he should have been mentioned more prominently for the last round of immortal inductions, but unfortunately missed. Sure, he was acknowledged here or there, however, like Sterling, we hope Brandy gets the honour in the near future.

LONDON – 1990: Greg Alexander of the Australian Kangaroos poses for a headshot during the Kangaroos tour of Great Britain 1990, in London, UK. (Photo by Getty Images)

Allan Langer

Alfie Langer is currently a trainer at the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland State of Origin team. Langer like Alexander and Sterling may have not got enough recognition, but hopefully in the near future we will see an immortals shortlist with those three names.

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5 Jun 1998: Allan Langer of Queensland in action during the State of Origin Series match against New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. New South Wales won the match 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Dave Rogers/Allsport

Kalyn Ponga

Here we go, the controversial pick from last year. Now there is still a chance that Kalyn Ponga may “flop” like many have said. However, after this season it is really looking unlikely. Ponga has proven that he is the best player in the Newcastle team, exceeding expectations even after the Knights lost form. This year Ponga has been named Newcastle’s equivalent to player of the year, the RLPA’s player of the year, at this point is on the shortlist for the Provan-Summons medal and will at least finish in the top three in the race for the Dally M medal. At this point anything can still happen, but if Ponga continues to play the way he has throughout his entire career then he is basically guaranteed to reach immortal status.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 10: Kalyn Ponga of the Knights looks on during warmup prior to the round 22 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights at Mt Smart Stadium on August 10, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Cooper Cronk

Cronk looked to break away from the Melbourne Storm and become the franchise player for the Sydney Roosters in 2018. Although, he and the Roosters had an inconsistent first half of the year, the Roosters still managed to finish first. However, if Cronk is to be inducted it will be for his numerous achievements at club and rep level throughout his career. Cronk may be less likely to become an immortal due to the amazing generation of players he has played in, with the likes of Smith, Thurston and even Billy Slater likely to be inducted before him.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 13: Cooper Cronk celebrates victory in the Four Nations match between England and Australian Kangaroos at Olympic Stadium on November 13, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

12 COMMENTS

  1. Nathan Hindmarsh

    Representative
    Years Team Pld T G FG P
    2000–09 Australia 23 6 0 0 24
    2001–10 New South Wales 17 1 0 0 4
    2008 NSW Country 1 0 0 0 0
    2011–12 NRL All Stars 2 0 0 0 0
    2005–11 Prime Minister’s XIII 3 1 1 0 6

    He played 46 Rep games during his career.
    How is that not cracking the rep sides?

  2. If you are going to talk about half backs such as Greg Alexander, Peter Sterling and Allan Langer, I have watched all the halfbacks since the 1960’s and Billy Smith the champion half back from St.George in the 1960’s and mid 1970’s would certainly get my nod ahead of the above three. Billy Smith along with Graeme Langlands virtually carried St.George after their 11 premierships right through to the mid 1975 for those of you who remembered. Langlands is an Immortal and Billy Smith should be right up there with him. Just on halfbacks how Andrew Johns became an Immortal is beyond me.

  3. Hindmarsh a future hall of famer? Yes. Immortal? No. He was a workhorse and was great for the Eels, but not immortal calibre.

    As for Alexander, I honestly believe he is one of the most underrated players to have played the game. The guy was an enormous talent who, unfortunately, had the likes of Stuart and Langer playing when he did. Don’t forget, he was a halfback who was piced to play on the wing for Australia as he demanded selection based on how good he was. Again, I don’t think he is immortal level, but gee he was a special player.

    Sterling definitely deserves to be in the discussion, but I think he will miss out.

    As for the other mentioned, Lockyer must be next based on this list. I loved the way he played the game, time seemed to slow down when he was in control and he knew exactly when to pick his moment. Cornk shouldn’t be an immortal I don’t think. He is a great game manager, but not at the same level as, say Johns, Lockyer or Thurston. Smith will be there one day too, but I put him in a similar category to Cronk and am not sure he is at the skill level of some of the others, and I don’t think he has changed the way the game is played at all.

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