We are compiling a list of the greatest athletes from the sport of rugby league, which will then be voted on and the winner placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (all sports). The first stage is to get nominations for rugby league before the vote is started. See the current list below of top athletes, compiled using other published lists and visitor feedback. See also the Golden Boot winners for some of the modern greats.
If you believe that there is someone missing from this list, please place a comment below, including any relevant details about the person.
Rugby League Greatest Players
The athletes below are listed in no particular order - once the shortlist is complete then you will be able to vote for who you think is the greatest of all. This list is not complete - if you know of someone who should be listed here, let us know using the comment form below.
|Andrew Johns||Twice winner of Golden Boot Award (1999 & 2001)|
|Billy Slater||Twice winner of the International Player of the year (2008, 2011) and once winner of the Golden Boot Award (2008).|
|Brad Fitler||Winner of the Golden Boot Award in 2000.|
|Cameron Smith||Played hooker with the Melbourne Storm (2002-2020), as captain for 15 of those years. He holds many records in the NRL's, including the most games played (430).|
|Darren Lockyer||Twice winner of Golden Boot Award (2003 & 2006)|
|Ellery Hanley||in 2007 he was voted as the greatest British rugby league player of all time. Winner of the Golden Boot Award in 1988.|
|Gareth Edwards||Gareth Edwards is a former Welsh rugby union footballer who played scrum-half. Has been described by the BBC as "arguably the greatest player ever to don a Welsh jersey". In 2003, a poll of international rugby players conducted by Rugby World magazine declared Edwards the greatest player of all time. In 2007, former England captain Will Carling published his list of the '50 Greatest Rugby players' in The Telegraph, and ranked Edwards the greatest player ever.|
|Jonathan Thurston||Winner of the Golden Boot Award in 2011.|
|Mal Meninga||Winner of the Golden Boot Award in 1989.|
|Peter Sterling||winner of the Golden Boot Award in 1987|
|Stacey Jones||winner of the Golden Boot Award in 2002|
|Wally Lewis||winner of the inaugural Golden Boot Award in 1984|
- Rugby league immortals list (wikipedia)
- The Golden Boot winners list and International Player of the Year
- More about rugby league
- All time greatest index of sports
- Other sport specific lists
- More about the World of Sport
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- David (2017)
Brian Bevan?? Highest number of tries ever!
- Amanda Nemaric (2016)
Artie Beetson was a big man, Like the second best AFL player of all time, John Nicholls, also a big man, these guys controlled the game, protected and encouraged team mates, and intimidated the opposition. They were also very skilled, but to be categorized as the BEST, requires more than skill.
- Amanda Nemaric (2016)
Artie Beetson. Edwards should not be on the list. Wrong sport
- Bill Harrison (2014)
Alex Murphy..run rings round the Aussies at seventeen
- Rick Miller (2014)
Some essential names are Johnny Raper, Bob Fulton and Arthur Beetson. I am not old enough to have seen Clive Churchill, the Little Master, but many call him the best ever. To me that honour goes to Reg Gasnier, who I saw many times as a teenager.
- Taylor Clare (2014)
BRIAN BEVAN for sure! SCORED 700 tries in 704 apps for the mighty wire!!!
- Surely, Anthony Minichielo. (from Frank Reyes, Mar 2013)
- Brett Kenny- most fluent game-breaker ever! Ask Wally. (from Duffin, Jan 2013)
- shaun edwards? (Nov 2012)
- Wat up billy slater come to nz to fozxton 57 avenue road (from kalli-francis, Sept 2012)
- Where is Ray Price or Steve Mortimer? What about Jamie Lyon. The only reason people don't notice him as much is because he has given up rep footy, which I beleive shows that he doesn't care about the money. He just wants to play for his club. He's certainly got my respect.
- Have we forgot Tom Van Vollenhoven. he once scored 62 tries in one season and his saints record is 392 tries in 409 appearances which I think makes him one of the greatest ever rugby league players (from Connor, July 2012)
- Ellery Hanley (from george king, Oct 2011)
- I am a QLDer but I think Paul Gallen (from jack, July 2011)
- Any list of the Greatest Rugby league players must have Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands & John Raper on it to be taken seriously. The list should include two british players who I believe to be the best Half & five eigth ever ... Alex Murphy and Roger millward. (from Paul Layton, July 2011)
- Keiron Cunningham (British professional rugby league footballer) - Unbelievably skillful and tough hooker. Directed the team at all times and came up with legendary match-winning moves. Decided not to move to Australia when he had the chance and stayed loyal to St Helens. Why isn't he on the list?! (suggested jan 2011).
- Also Ron Coote and Norm Provan (suggested by brooksy).