Top 10 Rugby League Players of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Andrew Johns Andrew Gary "Joey" Johns is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest players of all time.

Legend in every category. His passing game was sublime, his kicking game was to inch perfection and his overall toughness was impeccable. Andrew Johns is no doubt the greatest rugby league player of all time. His offield dramas were a bit of a problem but when he stood foot on the field he would just continue to play to his best ability. Joey Johns worked tirelessly on his kicking, passing and goal kicking game which payed off as he the most influential player to ever put a boot on.

Are we forgetting his amazing ability to take the line on, I've watched a lot of footy over the past 10 or so years and there have been no halves that have been able to orchestrate a team AS WELL AS having the ability to hit a hole off someone or have the vision to go himself. Apart from the try assist at the death of the '97 girlfriend, my favourite moment watching Andrew Johns was when he went himself against the Roosters close to his retirement and busted through the line to score under the posts, sheer brilliance.

Knowledge, courage & ability saw Johns excel at the highest level, in numerous positions. Redefined tactical kicking & could mix it in the front line of defense which ultimately brought his career to a premature finish. A genius with ball in hand, either as an attacking weapon or as a promoter/director of talent around him.

The best there is and ever will be. Changed the game. Everyone can remember a moment of Joey. Like in 1997 with a punctured lung, 2001 beating the best attacking side of all time in the girlfriend, 2005 state of origin. Only 249 games and has the best points per game ratio. Best defensive half -something Thurston struggled doing. Thurston also had the benefit of playing next to Lockyer, Smith, Cronk, Slater, Inglis, Matt Scott and co. In so where Joey had to baby sit Trent Barret, Shaun Timmins and god knows who else.

2 Darren Lockyer

Lockyer could walk onto the field on his own, and I'd still back him to beat any team. Even though he's been retired for some time now I have no doubt if he wanted to he could put a jersey back on and still be one of the better players in the league

Most games played for Australia in history. Most games as captain of Australia in history. Most tries scored for Australia in history. Most games played in state of origin history including being captain of the most successful state of origin team in history. Most club games played in history ( and all of these records do not include super league stats). Only player in history to win two golden boot awards for the best player in the world from two different positions. Three time dally m fullback of the year winner and three time dally m five- eighth of the year winner. Two time dally m representative player of the year award winner ( winning from two different positions! ). Clive churchill medal winner. Provan summons medal winner. Rlif back of the year winner on two occasions. Ron mcauliffe medal winner. Wally lewis medal winner. Harry Sunderland medal winner. Etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc So who do you think is the best player ever to play the greatest game of all?

Not once can you think of a time which Lockyer made a mistake or cost his team a match. A true competitor never had an off day.

He's currently in the top three sandwiched by johns and the king, but I would choose Lockyer as the best purely because he was a true professional! Wally Lewis did nothing at club level and stood tall at rep level. Andrew johns was a pill popping party boy which is fine but at the end of the day no one took their game more seriously than Lockyer

From my state of origin experience Darren Lockyer was always the best. He always had a great game and when the broncos or maroons were in trouble you could always look at locky and he would be calm and would always have hope and would never give up. I wasn't around for Wally Lewis' era so I believe the best player is Darren Lockyer, Andrew johns doesn't come close to being a better player than the queensland maroons legend Darren Lockyer

3 Wally Lewis

He has all the skills. He's a great tactician, director of play, he had a great kicking game, short and long. His passing was immaculate, he had enormous speed for a player his size, he could defend like a front row forward.

He was an inspiring player, a great leader. When he talked on the field players listened. Oh and while his goal kicking wasn't like Johns, he could still kick a goal well enough.

People need to go back to the early to late 80s to fully appreciate his abilities. Not only that he was doing all this with epilepsy, a medical condition no one should play rugby league with.

Locky, JT, Johns, Langer and the other great players learned off Lewis. The King was doing all things in the 80s that you see done today.

In my opinion Wally Lewis has the greatest football brain the game has ever seen. Wally was capable of reading plays 3-4 tackles in advance and could set his side up to strike 3-4 tackles in advance. Wally was a natural and was arguably a better footballer than Andrew Johns. The combination of Lewis and Langer are the best halves combination in the last half century.

The best and most dominant player that I have ever seen - he truly always put his stamp on a game whether in a winning or losing team that's why I believe he is the best ever. Andrew Johns was also very skillful, but looked pretty mediocre in losing teams.The true Champion always steps up even when the "chips are down". Wally is still Number 1, daylight second!

Lewis was such a dominate force in Rugby League. Other sides feared him playing. Big games only made him perform better. Lockyer and Johns were no doubt great footballers, but neither were so easily better than the opposition they played during their career (Lyons, Daley, Kenny etc), all who were great footballers in their own right.

4 Jonathan Thurston

THIS MAN.. Should be number one... He came from nothing and became much more... The game of rugby league was once nothing and became much more... No one wanted J. T he offered clubs himself for free and still no one wanted him... He went to the bulldogs and came a premiership... He went to cowboys and there came a finals appearance... There he stood in a maroon Jersey next to Darren lockyer on his debut year for maroons a streak started the greatest streak origin has ever had... The only player in those six years of the streak to play every game... He came from nothing... And became MUCH MORE

He has won every award you can think of 3 and 4 times over broke every record in the book...won origin games 11 yrs of dominance...Australian world cups countless... two premierships two different teams...he is the greatest player whos ever lived...the man can kick like no other his technique is unique and understands the aerodynamics of the ball...bit like an aboriginie throwing a boomerang lol...he is a busiest player on and off the field..has a superior vision of the game...he has won a human right award including Australian of the year awards...Man this brother has definitely got Immortal written all over him...MASSIVE indigenous role man plus a FREAK...HE CAN DO IT ALL...JUST FOR THE LOVE OF THIS GAME RUGBY LEAGUE...TO BE THAT GREAT OF A PLAYER you must be have fine tuned your talents...ALL I CAN SAY IS FINESSE..BROTHER! "THURSTON IS THE GREATEST"

Jonathan Thurston is without a doubt the best footballer in the world in today's game. Although he plays a different game than the King Wally Lewis, Thurston thinks very similar to the way Lewis did when he played the great game. If Wally Lewis is the King and Darren Lockyer is the Prince then Thurston is sure to be the Duke or Emperor. Although Wally was known as the emperor as well.

JT has changed rugby league forever, he has won more Dally M medals than anyone people use to say he had to win a premiership with cowboys to become the best of all time and now he has done it. all this shows is that people don't want to admit he is the best because they are jealous that he dosn't play for there team or there state. no one puts their body on the line more than JT, no one has the vision of JT and no one is more influential on a teams result than JT, if you have JT you win that is why Queensland have won origin so many times. They say that Johns changed rugby league but JT perfected what Johns created.

5 Clive Churchill

No Andrew johns Darren Lockyer and wally were good but no one is better than Clive Churchill he could play any of the backs there's no doubt that he is the best

He Kept Playing with a broken arm. No one who plays today would do that.

He ha a medal written with his name on it he shoul be definitely first

Truly great and for his size what a player.

6 Brad Fittler

Brad Freddy Fittler is without a doubt the Greatest Player of All Time but unfortunately didn t get the credit he deserved like Andrew Johns got, whereas Fittler was easy the better player of the two and their head to head record speaks for itself. Both were great players, but Fittler could play in various position from the halves, lock, centre, and had great strength, on the other hand Johns only played halfback even though in origin came as an interchange in the hooker position at one point, Allan Langer was even probably a better halfback than Johns. To conclude Brad Fittler was the youngest Representative player for NSW and Australia and our youngest captain to lead our country and is definitely the greatest player of all time. It's a shame Andrew Johns was made a immortal before Freddy...Top 5 of all time, 1.BRAD FITTLER, 2.Darren Lockyer, 3 & 4.Allan Langer and Andrew Johns, 5.Johnathan Thurston

Gretest player I have ever seen, far better than Lockyer in my opinion. Lockyer can't tackle well and Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday cover for him, Fittler defended like a forward. Fittler could play 4 positions, Lockyer 2. Lockyer had tons of assistance from 3 of his 4 premierships, Fittler had little from his 2. Summary: Fittler better running game, kicking game, passing game, defensive game, better in leading a team and my hero GO FREDDY FITTLER

Brad fittler was one of the best players to the play game and also one of the under credited players he would have won a lot more medals if he was playing today... he played in a tough time in Rurby league when their was heaps of great players therefore it was much harder to be the best and he sould be denfinally in top 5

Best I have seen should have won the Clive Churchill medel in 2002 his clean up work was fantastic won many game for the Roosters with brilliance performed at club state and Australia and should be an amortal

7 Ellery Hanley

Pfft. Nothing special, he played super league for most of his career so that doesn't exactly make him anywhere near the best. I know he played a few NRL games but he never made the same impact as he did when he played the super dooper league.

The legend of rugby league golden boot winner! Speed, power and balance. Try scoring machine for every team he played for.

He is a Wigan warriors legend could kick a ball from anywhere on the pitch and was a fantastic reader of the game

The black pearl! By far the most balanced player to play the game... the pele of rugby league better than johns

8 Greg Inglis

In his prime he was unstoppable, no one could find a way around that fend. Winning premierships with Melbourne, then going to Souths to break a 40 plus year premiership drought, people credit Sam Burgess for that but in truth it was all GI. No one has ever run the ball like GI and no one ever will. And also that Goanna celebration is pretty darn cool.

Sheer ability in all aspects of the game at his size make him the most talented player ever. Whether five eighth, centre, wing or fullback where he was at his most influential when at the rabbits, he was the best.

Due to injury this phenomenal athlete couldn't peform to the best of his abilities fortunately for everyone he would verse but this mountain of a man stands proud and tall at the front of the line as arguably the greatest player ever. Best runner of the ball without a doubt, most tries scored in State of Origin, is there anything is man can't do? In his peak he was unstoppable, no one can oppose this talented superstar of an athlete.

The best runner of the ball in the history of the sports has won pretty much every medal and trophies there is and now staring down the immortal status this guy is a beast. Melbourne Storm was where he played his best rugby but he also is a gun for south Sydney, Queensland and Australia. Arguably the greatest player ever and the greatest indigenous player ahead of Johnathan Thurston.

9 Billy Slater

Billy Slater is an amazing Fullback! He is always getting himself into plays that they need him in! He is also someone who is just considerate as well during his games! The best thing I love about watching Billy play is the plays that he gets into, the full length of the field tries! Now they are amazing.

I am absolutely a Billy Slater, and Melbourne Storm fan!

Billy is the best player to ever live because he has got many try's has saved a lot of try's and he is always getting in plays. Finally he is the best fullback of all time don't you agree.

Best fullback to ever play the game. Could do it all, one of the best tryscorers ever and one of the best defensive fullbacks ever. He is always busy and never slacks off. A Brilliant player. Also who is Ellery Hanley and why is he in the top 10? Super League shouldn't be eligible for this list because super league is amateur compared to NRL.

Should be up in the top 5. Whose Ellery Hanley? Never heard of him and I have followed league for 40 years. He must have played Union Anyway Slater is the greatest fullback to ever play the game, even better than the little master Churchill. Slater is a legend.

10 Mal Meninga

Great size with speed and balance made him destructible but vision made him the best. Add in the ability to kick goals as good as any he was worth more points than any man

Mal meninga is the best player and coach of all time he has scored the most points ever in origen his coaching has gave queensland 7 straight he was a brilliant goal kicker with his toe punt

Simply brilliant. Size pace hands and that player that always came up with the goods when needed... old Trafford v Great Britain typical of the man.

Skill, power and speed and great charisma. He is the best Rugby League player ever.

The Contenders

11 Steve Menzies

Steve Menzies was a strong defender and in 1995 scored 22 tries in 22 games. In addition, at one stage he was 104 tries in 150 games. Probably the best backrower to ever play rugby league in australia.

He's played in almost every position and has scored the most tries for a forward (for which he played the majority of his career).

Mr 110% or maybe 115 what an amazing record. I have watched his whole career with joy. And his work in the community and the recognition he got

He scored 180 tries, more than any other forward and 2nd on the all time try scoring list

12 Peter Sterling

he's the best player he plays for eels and thats the best! eels rock as well as peter steriling

Best halfback who ever lived is a great parramata legend and is agreat guy when you meat him in person

2nd best halfback in the world now suckers

One of the best Parra players to play

Baxter Turner

13 Arthur Beetson

Every great sides need great forwards and Artie was the greatest. Very tough,could throw a few which you had to in that era. And unbelievable balls skills. Just an absolute all time legend.

No one could smash like Beetson. No one could feign then attack like Beetson. God help the guy who had to tackle him. Even Terry Randle would have has second thoughts. 3 Generations packed into one!

Come on people...Artie could set up tries and get the ball away better than anyone.

He is the best ever no one can be more better than him

14 Reg Gasnier

A classical centre, his main attribute was his acceleration, that quality which seperates the very good from the champions. He could slide tyhrough a gap before the opposition realised he was gone.

He is the best centre ever in the league with his son Mark Gasnier

You would not let anyone on this list tie Gasnier's bootlaces

The greatest centre I have ever seen.

15 Dally Messenger

Dally Messenger basically gave us rugby league in Australia. His freakish running ability, try scoring ability and the ability to kick goals from his own 25m line, nobody has ever done that since. Not even the South African rugby players at high altitude. His dominance and moral character destroys Andrew Johns, hands down.

stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries had everything great with ball in hand good kicker a playmaker. can't think of anyone else who dominated like him

I think he is Awesome and he should at least be in the top 3

16 Allan Langer

People seem to forget that johns played at hooker or on the bench because he couldn't move langer.

The most tries scored by a full time halfback in history and easily the deadliest player in history inside the opposing 20m. As for dominance he went unopposed as Queensland halfback from 87-98 and only wasn't selected between 99-00 because of retirement before coming back in 01 and completely out playing johns in his last origin. 4 premierships and 3 minor premierships in 7 years leading brisbane. 2 World Cup wins and 2 kangaroos tours. Add to that 3 rule changes specifically because of langer no other player has had such an impact on the rules of the game.

Allan langer for the win great great player one of the most gifted players to ever wear the number seven Jersey, Amazing how he tormented his apponents with evasiveness and playmakeing!

Little bloke with the heart of o LION and Wayne Pearce is one off the most dedicated players I've ever seen and I'm 75 years young thanks

He's was the greatest halfback ever and the greatest player ever and ever doesn't like him because of him going to the super league

17 Cameron Smith

11 state of origin wins, 4x Wally Lewis medalist, 5x hooker of the year, 3x Captain of the Year, Golden Boot, NRL games record, Most ever point by a hooker, Premiership captain, Captained Australia to World Cup win, should be 3 time premiership player but two were stripped and 2 time Dally M Medal. Now how could you possibly argue against him being the greatest rugby league player of all time after seeing that.

The greatest number 9 to ever play the game, kicking game, passing game, vision to see what is happening and pick what play is needed, knows hot to control the ruck and just by being on the field he makes everyone else feel calmer and as if they won't lose. He is truly the greatest player I have ever seen.

I like him a lot and he plays for the Queensland team and his captain he plays for the Storm and his Captain and he plays for Australia and his captain. Cameron Smith is the top player that has become the captain. He has been captain since like about 9 to 10 years or so. Cameron Smith is such a good player

Cameron is the greatest thinking player, that is and ever has been! Skill and talent honed razed sharp with determination and never say die attitude to the end he will take the ball there himself!
Capt Cam Smith the greatest leader and player ever to b

18 Stacey Jones

Johns was the best half back for Kiwis. He's a very talented kicker who made the way for the Kiwis to be the title holder.
Go Stacey!

Very talented rugby player straight out from leuge hies the best player and my favorite

Stacey jones is a very awesome player he is small but very strong and talented

Stacey Carried the Warriors for years! go the Little General!

19 Garry Schofield

He played for leeds Rhinos and hull fc great Britain and I think he played in Australia for a season. One of England's best ever players

Awesome Garry...who'd he play for again? What era? Love Garry

Brilliant, mouthy now

20 John Raper

Possibly the best all-round rungby league player I ever saw, and I've seen a few since the 1950s. His positional play was superb and I don't recall him ever missing a tackle. And his tackles weren't the "second in" or "third in" efforts we see nowadays, he went in first, usually went low, and had his opponent on the ground before he could even think about getting a pass away. In attack, he backed up everywhere, had enough pace to make it awkward for opposing teams (he played five-eighth for some time) and had great anticipation.

With langlands and gasnier the best footballers ever to play the game. By a long way. The players today don't come close

The greatest ever. Simple and as basic as that.

A great lock and Australian captain.

21 Brett Kenny

He is by far the greatest player I've ever seen. Naturally gifted, very instinctive and could do anything on the field. Played 5 grand finals in 6 years and won 4, won the Challenge Cup with Wigan in 1985 and was head and shoulders the best player on the park. Was a huge part of the 1985 and 1986 Origin teams that beat QLD and was a standout player for Australia from the time he made his debut. Won the Golden Boot in 1986 but in all fairness he was the best player in the world in the world from 1982 to 1986. He always delivered in the big matches. The players that played with him and against him have acknowledged his brilliance.

I have been watching RL since the 1970's and have to say Brett Kenny is the most naturally gifted and intelligent player I have ever seen. Never seen a player with so much time. Had everything. First saw him when Kangaroos toured UK IN 1982. He also played for Wigan for a short while, and although I'm a Cas fan it was brilliant to watch him live.

The most naturally gifted player I've ever seen. Dazzling speed and acceleration, magnificent step and great hands. If you blink he has gone past you. He was so good at making breaks or putting players through gaps with 2 and 3 defenders converging on him and he did it in an era of Wally Lewis, Gene Miles and Mal Meninga. Definite candidate for Immortal status.

Brett Kenny is the best most gifted player to grace the field. Awesome evasiveness, speed, defense, amazing passing. A truley graceful player who made everyone smile at his pure gift for rugby league. THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME FULL STOP.

22 Shane Webcke

Have met him in the flesh is one big bloke

I've never met this man in my life

Who the hell is this guy

23 Graeme Langlands

Chang the magic dragon was one of the best fullbacks, billy slater has nothing on this mighty st George dragon. R.I.P

Greatest fullback ever, great footwork, read the game brilliantly.

Greame Langlands is the greatest player to pull on a boot. Todays players don't rate with him.

A radiation of spectacular proportion

24 Bradley Clyde

He has won Clive Churchill medal twice
And played state of Origen

He is definitely the best player ever

Best lock forward

25 Martin Offiah

Speed, speed, speed. No doubt that Offiah was lightening fast, but that was all there ever was to his game. Greatest British player? Not even close to Ellery Hanley.

First time I saw Martin was when he ran the length of the pitch in the third test at Sydney over 30 years ago. He was one of the greats.

Fast, just lightning! Watched him from his first games at Widnes, nothing ever as quick over more than a century

Last english back that was worth watching

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