QRL Article by Ricki-Lee Arnold
Dedicated supporters of the Brisbane Rugby League have selected their fan-voted Team of the Century, as the competition celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The likes of Queensland Maroons legends Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga and Arthur Beetson headline the fan-voted Team of the Century, alongside Brisbane cult heroes like “The Golden Greek” Fonda Metassa and players from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, including great Australian prop Duncan Hall and Indigenous sensation Lionel Morgan.
Lewis was the most favoured player in any position, picking up 92 per cent of the five-eighth vote, while Mark Murray claimed the halfback role with 38 per cent of the vote, in a tight race against Barry Muir (32 per cent) and Ross Strudwick (30 per cent).
The nominees were provided by the Queensland Rugby League’s History Committee, which has also selected the official BRL Team of the Century, to be revealed on Friday, August 19.
Author and MC Steve Haddan, who is a member of the History Committee, said the fan-voted Team of the Century reflected how much passion fans had for the BRL and the game of rugby league in general.
“There were wonderful players to choose from,” Haddan said.
“I’m very passionate about the BRL competition. I often go out and watch games of a weekend that feature the old school Brisbane sides simply because it’s where, like many others, my own love affair of the game started.
“It’s that place where you can go into the rooms after the game and listen to the coach, sing the war cry with the club, kick the footy with your mates at half-time… these experiences are terrific.
“I grew up in Toowoomba so in those days there was no TV coverage of Brisbane or Sydney league. If you wanted a fix of BRL, you had to go to the games, listen to the radio or read about in the paper.
“Those rare treats where your father put you in the car and drove to Brisbane for a BRL grand final, they stay with you forever.
“Our childhood memories are often the fondest and the BRL is part of that.”
The fan-voted BRL Team of the Century
1. Gary Belcher (Souths)
2. Lionel Morgan (Wynnum Manly)
3. Mal Meninga (Souths)
4. Gene Miles (Wynnum Manly)
5. Fonda Metassa (Fortitude Valley, Norths)
6. Wally Lewis (Fortitude Valley, Wynnum Manly)
7. Mark Murray (Norths, Fortitude Valley, Redcliffe)
8. Greg Dowling (Wynnum Manly)
9. John Lang (Easts)
10. Duncan Hall (Fortitude Valley, Wests)
11. Arthur Beetson (Redcliffe)
12. Des Morris (Easts, Wynnum Manly)
13. Bob Lindner (Souths, Wynnum Manly)
Coach: Bob Bax (Brothers, Norths)
Referee: Eddie Ward