For a Rugby League fan, Sportswriter Liam Hauser’s latest release The Immortals of Australian Rugby League (Rockpool) is an enjoyable and informative read.
The book delves into the distinguished careers of the thirteen Rugby League players who have attained immortal status. We can read about their qualities and characteristics, in addition to their achievements at Club, State and International level. Filled with career statistics, personal detail and some wonderful photographs, this book presents an amazing array of information of thirteen of the greatest players to play “the greatest game of all”. These players were not just highfliers and notable performers but also influential identities who changed the way the game is played.
Rugby League Week launched the concept in 1981, naming an original group of four players who they believed to be the greatest in history. The four were Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper.
In 1999, Graeme Langlands and Wally Lewis were added, with Arthur Beetson becoming the seventh Immortal in 2003. The eighth and final Immortal to be added by the publication was Andrew Johns.
With the closure of Rugby League Week in 2017, the concept was taken over by the Australian Rugby League Commission.
On 1 August 2018, a further five players were announced as Immortals, bringing the tally to thirteen. They were Mal Meninga, Norm Provan, Frank Burge, Dave Brown and Dally Messenger. It was the first time that the latter three pre-World War II champions could be considered for this recognition, as it had previously been an award restricted to post-World War II players.
For years the rugby league community has lived in awe of the legacy a select few have left behind. The Immortals of Australian Rugby League is a fitting tribute to a group of remarkable men whose names will forever be synonymous with success and paving the way for the players of today.
Publisher: Rockpool Publishing
About Liam Hauser
Liam Hauser has written numerous books on rugby league and cricket and has also worked as a sports reporter for several print and online media outlets for more than fifteen years. His previous books include; A Century of Cricket Tests (New Holland, 2013); State of Origin 35 Years (RocBpool, 2015); A History of Test Cricket (New Holland, 2016); The Great Grand Finals: Rugby League’s Greatest Contests (New Holland, 2017) and Immortals of Cricket (RocBpool, 2018)