SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: Danny Buderus of the Blues runs onto the field to play in his last Origin match before match three of the ARL State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 2, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Robbie Farah has announced his retirement just days after his 300th game, stating he will be hanging up his boots at the conclusion of the season.

Upon the news, former NRL great Mark Greyer has compiled his power rankings of the top five NSW hookers of all time on Triple M’s The Rush Hour with MG. 

5. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

In fifth position, MG has ranked Damien Cook. The 28-year-old has played 91 games and scored 12 tries in his career. Cook has represented NSW six time and Australia twice.

MG stated that last year he would have ranked Cookin the top 10 but after a breakout season in 2018, seeing him named Dally M Hooker of the Year, MG regards him as the fifth best NSW hooker of all time.

Cook reminds MG of Cameron Smith, if he continues to look after his body MG believes he will be able to have a long and successful career.


4. Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers)

Robbie Farrah has played 300 games in his career, playing for NSW 16 times and eight times for Australia, earning him a spot in MG’s top five NSW hookers of all time.

After debuting for the Wests Tigers in 2003 Farrah slowly became more and more influential on field before becoming the primary hooker for the Wests Tigers in 2005 following the retirement of Darren Senter. Farrah assisted the West Tigers to take hold their maiden premiership that year.

Farrah moved to South Sydney for one season in 2017 before returning to the Wests Tigers.

“The fact he left and went to the Rabbitoh’s for a season is why I’ve ranked him slightly lower, but he deserves to be apart of the top five hookers NWS have produced” MG stated.


3. Royce Simmons (Penrith Panthers)

The one club man played 238 games for the Penrith Panthers. MG’s old teammate was contracted to the Panther in 1980 where he started out at lock before moving to a hooker in 1981.

Simmons was the Panthers first ever Australian representative in 1986 and went on to represent Australia another nine time (10 in total). Simmons also represented NSW 10 times.

Simmons played alongside MG in the 1991 Grand Final in which Simmons scored two tries to help the Panthers defeat the Canberra Raiders.

“[Simmons] got robbed of being the Clive Churchill medallist for that game” MG recalls.


2. Benny Elias (Wests Tigers)

MG believes Wests Tigers’ Benny Elias is the second best NSW hooker of all time. Playing 234 games for the Tigers, Elias was a one club man.

The small hooker, who played as a half back for much of his junior career as a youngster, played 22 Origin games and played for Australia 14 times in his career. The competitive player was underrated for his size but make no confusion, Elias was one of the best hookers produced by NSW.

“[Elias] changed the way hookers played, he started probing out of dummy half, a dummy left and right and then would come go up the middle of the ruck and score a try.”


1. Danny Buderus (Newcastle Knights)

Taking out the top spot for the best NSW hooker of all time is Danny Buderus, playing out his NRL career at the Newcastle Knights. Buderus did commence playing in the Super League for English club the Leeds Rhinos in 2009 but re-joined the Newcastle Knights in 2012.

Buderus “dominated at club and rep level” according to MG before going on to play for NSW 21 times as well as 24 times for Australia. Buderus was awarded the Dally M Hooker of the Year award in 2002, 2004 and 2005, and earnt himself top spot in MG’s top five NSW hookers of all time.


  1. Damien Cook is already streets ahead of all those.
    Baderus was the best of a particular style of hooker.
    Damien Cook has pioneered a style that will now be a prerequisite for any aspiring hooker wanting to cut it at NRL.
    If Baderus was playing now and at his peak would be overlooked for Cook every day of the week.

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