The naming of six Rugby League legends as the latest inductees into the NRL Hall of Fame, including two former Manly skippers and a North Sydney Bears great, has left one of its stars speechless.
Ricky Stuart, Petero Civoniceva, Gorden Tallis, Steve Menzies, Cliff Lyons and Mark Graham are set to be etched forever into league greatness at a Hall of Fame ceremony at the SCG on August 1.
The six stars were polled in from a list of 25 hopefuls, voted in through 25 judges; a list that originally had 100 names.
Amongst the six are a combined 1,500 first-grade rugby league games, 118 Tests for Australia and New Zealand, and 90 State of Origin games for respective states.
A humbled Gorden Tallis struggled to express his gratitude toward the nomination.
“I was honoured to be nominated,” Tallis said.
“You don’t need to be noticed and you don’t play for individual honours or recognition. I played because I loved playing with my mates.
“I don’t know what to say. I haven’t even told my kids.”
Stuart, the current Canberra coach and 90’s league star, helped coax the Raiders into their most successful premiership period, including three premierships in 1989, 1990 and 1994.
Both Menzies and Lyons, former Manly captains, hold the top-two spots in the record books for most games played for the club; Lyons with an impressive 309 from 1986 to 1999 and Menzies with 280 from 1993 to 2008.
Fiji-born Civoniceva has played 309 games for Brisbane and Penrith as well as collecting 45 Tests for Australia and 33 State of Origin games – the most games ever for a Queensland forward.
Of the six, North Sydney’s player-of-the-century Graham is the only Kiwi: playing 29 Tests for New Zealand between 1977 and 1988 with seven tries under his belt.
The prospected inductees will join the elite 100 members of the Hall of Fame so far in what will be a memorable ceremony for the stars.