Who is the best-ever second row forward to play international rugby league?

15th May 2020, 10:59


Who is the best-ever second row forward to play international rugby league?

Selecting the best ever second row forwards to have played international rugby league is already proving to be the most difficult position so far. In compiling an initial long-list, there are so many players who have been discussed and not made the final cut - so this will certainly stimulate debate. 

Here is the long-list (hold your breath and shout out if your favourite is missing)

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Ron Coote - A tall and gifted athlete, he was a superb cover-defender, fast and powerful with the ball in hand - voted best player during the Ashes series and the same year, he led Kangaroos to a World Cup triumph 

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Vince Karalius - The "wild bull" was big, strong, intimidating loose forward was equally adept with the ball and in defence. Karalius was the man who tamed the best Aussie packs 

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kurt Sorensen - A great try scoring forward who intimidated his opponents - he was New Zealand's youngest test player - his explosiveness and the way he commanded attention when he got the ball were amazing.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Elie Brousse - Nicknamed the "Tiger of Sydney" by the Australian media after his match-winning performances on the 1951 France tour face the Kangaroos

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ Trevor Foster - A wales international forward whose GB test career was curtailed by WW2 - he was a vital part of the "Indomitables" the first tourist to Australia after the war - Trevor was a great try-scorer

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Gordon Tallis - Big, fast and feisty, he became the dominant player in the Aussie pack. The enforcer would be his role until he retired - a natural leader, he would never take a backward step.

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Sam Burgess - Like many players - Sam could be picked in many positions - devastating defence - great hands, desrtuctive attack and the epitomy of leadership - has to be considered.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Mark Graham - The first Kiwi inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame - described as "Captain Marvel and the Six Million Dollar Man wrapped into one."

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Norm Provan - "Born to lead. His honesty, ambition, will to win, courage, dignity, modesty, pride in achievement, loyalty and fair play fitted him perfectly for the task.''

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Andy Farrell - Another who could play anywhere - great hands, uncompromising defence, excellent kicking game, devasting runner and inspirational leader - what more do you want?

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Sonny Bill Williams - Its unusual to include a current players but with such a stellar career as an athlete across multiple sports - its hard to ignore this contemporary superstar.

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ George Treweek - 'Arms and Legs'' because of his wild and ungainly running style, but it was those same limbs that wrought havoc on the football fields of Australia and England in the 1920s and 1930s.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Hugh McGahan - One of the very few back-row forwards to win the Golden Boot award - once scored 6 tries against PNG

๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Phil Lowe - A magnificent physique. "He had a high leg movement and the ability to stride out of a tackle. A giant of a man and a brilliant exponent of a forward running out wide in the centre areas"