Australia is the greatest rugby league playing nation on the planet and has produced many tremendous players. That may seem a bold statement but if we look at the history of the Rugby League World Cup, Australia leads the way with 11 titles to their name.
The second-place team in the list is Great Britain, who have won the World Cup four times, which underlines Australia’s dominance. If you were to have a bet on the Rugby League World Cup today, Australia would be the favourites in the betting odds and you can use a bet365 bonus code to claim a promotion thanks to BonusCodes.com.
With such an illustrious history at the top of the sport, Australia has produced some of the world’s greatest rugby league players. Below you will find the top 5 best Australian players in rugby league history.
1. Cameron Smith
For many rugby league fans, Cameron Smith is the greatest player of all time in the sport, not only Australia. Playing as a hooker, Smith spent his whole club career with Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League.
Smith was named international player of the year in 2007 and 2017 and holds the record for the number of appearances in the NRL at 430 matches. Smith is the highest points scorer in the history of the NRL, has made the most tackles and recorded the most wins. Smith is a Member of the Order of Australia, won the Four Nations title three times and the World Cup twice with Australia.
2. Brad Fittler
Brad Fittler represented Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters at club level in Australia and is the youngest NSW State of Origin player. Fittler captained both New South Wales and Australia and was highly capable in the position of stand-off, lock, and centre. He is the third-most-capped Australian international player and won the Rugby League World Cup twice as captain of the Australia team. Fittler also played in the 1992 Rugby League World Cup and has three winners medals to his name, making him one of the most decorated players at international level.
3. Andrew Johns
If you ask rugby league fans to name their greatest ever Australian player, many will say Andrew Johns. He spent much of his domestic playing career with the Newcastle Knights in the NRL and won the title twice in 1997 and 2001. Johns played 21 test matches for the national side, including two world cups, and was known for his dedication to improve his game, with passing and kicking technique the top of his priorities. Johns holds the record for the most points scored on international debut, most points scored in a test match, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament at the 1995 World Cup.
4. Darren Lockyer
Darren Lockyer played over 350 games for the Brisbane Broncos over the span of his career. Playing mostly as a stand-off and full-back, Lockyer won 4 NRL Grand Finals and lifted the Rugby League World Cup with Australia. He was awarded the Golden Boot as the world’s best player in 2003 and 2006 and having played 59 Test matches for Australia, Lockyer is the highest try scorer in their history, with 35 tries to his name.
5. Reg Gasnier
Going back to the 1960s for our final player, Reg Gasnier played 39 times for Australia during a tremendous career that was sadly cut short. Gasnier was a hugely exciting player to watch and he could cut through the opposition defence with ease using his speed and agility. Playing all his career with St. George Dragons, Gasnier averaged over a try per game, which is an incredible statistic. However, Gasnier will be remembered for his ability with the ball in hand and you will struggle to see a greater sight in the history of Australian rugby league.