Official Rugby League Annual


With 25 years of history, the Official Rugby League Annual is the definitive collectors’ item with wrap-ups of every match in the NRL season, all representative fixtures and the much anticipated Players of the Year. Every NRL club’s season is reviewed in great detail and there are extensive records of representative players and fixtures, so you’ll never be caught out by a rugby league statistic again. Compiled by noted rugby league historian David Middleton, the Rugby League Annual is a must for all league fans.

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in this issue

3 min
reflecting on a decade of remarkable growth

LOOKING back over the past decade of rugby league, everyone will have their favourite memories. My top five (in no particular order) are: Johnathan Thurston’s extra-time field goal to win the Cowboys’ first title in 2015; Sam Burgess’ heroics in the Rabbitohs’ drought-breaking grand final win of 2014; the rise of Tonga and their victories over New Zealand, Great Britain and Australia; Darren Lockyer’s match-winning field goal against the Dragons in his final game for the Broncos in 2011; and the Blues’ triumph in torrential rain before a record crowd at Perth’s Optus Stadium in 2019. Historically, the 2010s will be viewed as a period of stability and prosperity for the game in Australia; marked by the establishment of the Australian Rugby League Commission in 2012 and the signing of two bumper…

1 min

THE NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE 2019 The National Rugby League was formed in 1998, under a partnership arrangement between the Australian Rugby League and Super League/News Limited, to administer the national competition. The Australian Rugby League Commission organises the NRL competition, State of Origin and Australian representative matches and works with the International Rugby League and other Rugby League bodies to foster Rugby League throughout the world. The role of the ARLC is to be the single controlling body and administrator of Rugby League in Australia. It has responsibilities for fostering, developing and funding the game from the junior to the elite levels. The ARLC is comprised of seven independent commissioners. AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE COMMISSION The Hon. Peter Beattie AC (Chairman – stood aside October 30), Peter V’landys AM (Chairman – from November 1),…

9 min
team of the 2010s

CONTRIBUTION across the decade was the major criteria in selecting our Team of the 2010s. Most of the choices were clear cut; Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, for instance, demanded selection; others were less obvious, such as centre and wing where stand-out selections were thin on the ground. Also, there were players who could be considered unlucky to be overlooked. Sharks veteran Paul Gallen and Storm prop Jesse Bromwich both possessed strong claims, as did Broncos Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday. Our team has a strong Queensland flavour, reflecting the Maroons’ dominance of State of Origin during the decade of the 2010s and there is also recognition of the growing Pacific influence on the game, with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jason Taumalolo and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves earning their places. Our Team of the Decade…

3 min
rapid rise of the next wave of stars

AFTER years of domination by a nucleus of star players, the game’s regeneration continued in 2019 when a new group of stars began to make a serious impact at all levels. Sure, Cameron Smith was still playing quality football for the Storm and Cooper Cronk continued to impose himself at the Sydney Roosters, but from club to representative level, the emergence of new talent abounded. This new talent was especially evident in our Team of the Year for 2019. Within its ranks there is only one player who made his first appearance in the Team of the Year earlier than the past two seasons. Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans earned a recall for the first time since 2013, largely for the part he played in lifting the Sea Eagles into the play-offs after…

10 min
top 5 of 2019

DAMIEN COOK COOK was the catalyst for attacking play that brought crowds to their feet in 2019; building on a breakout season with the Rabbitohs in 2018 and refining his dummy-half play as opposition teams increasingly devised plans to shut him down. Cook reached new standards with the Rabbitohs, ran more often, improved his kicking skills and created more scoring opportunities for team-mates than any other hooker in the game. He carried these improvements through to representative level where his timing and energy were pivotal factors in the Blues’ back-to-back series successes and also to Australia’s victory over New Zealand in October. Cook dazzled from the outset with the Rabbitohs, routinely breaking games open with his judicious ruck running and after tearing the Cowboys to shreds in Magic Round, coach Wayne Bennett…

8 min
roll of honour

1993 Players of the Year: Mark Coyne, Brad Mackay, Ricky Stuart, Kerrod Walters, Steve Walters. Team of the Year: Michael Potter (St George); Willie Carne (Brisbane), Mark Coyne (St George), Brad Fittler (Penrith), Noa Nadruku (Canberra); Kevin Walters (Brisbane), Ricky Stuart (Canberra); Ian Roberts (Manly), Steve Walters (Canberra), Glenn Lazarus (Brisbane), Bob Lindner (Illawarra), Paul Sironen (Balmain), Brad Mackay (St George). 1994 Players of the Year: Bradley Clyde, Greg Florimo, Brett Mullins, Dean Pay, Ricky Stuart. Team of the Year: Brett Mullins (Canberra); Rod Wishart (Illawarra), Steve Renouf (Brisbane), Ruben Wiki (Canberra), Sean Hoppe (North Sydney); Greg Florimo (North Sydney), Ricky Stuart (Canberra); John Lomax (Canberra), Steve Walters (Canberra), Ian Roberts (Manly), Dean Pay (Canterbury), Bradley Clyde (Canberra), Brad Fittler (Penrith). 1995 Players of the Year: Laurie Daley, Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns, Gary Larson, Steve Menzies. Team of…