Top 10 Rugby League Players of All Time

The Top Ten

1 Andrew Johns 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.

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.

Andrew Johns is the best player and always will be

Johns could do all things brilliantly. Read the game, short kick, long kick, goal kick, field goal, set up tries, save tries, great passing game, and hits hard in defense. I believe he was the best all round skilled player, and a brilliant captain as well.

He is the best if you say he is not your brain needs to be fixed

V 86 Comments
2 Darren Lockyer Darren Lockyer

Lockyer has been dominant since he made his debut until the end of his career; he has dominated origin and Australian football, easily the best player to play the game

Number 1 Fullback
Number 1 5/8th
Most Capped origin player
Most successful origin captain
Most Australian Captaincies
Most try's for Australia
Most games for a single club
Most premiership wins in the club (4 BRISBANE BRONCOS! )
Most games ever played in first grade
Golden boot award twice
Country boy
Bloody legend! Long live the new KING

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

His name says it all, the true legend of the game even NSW people acknowledge his playing ability to dominate the field, to spot a gap, to read the play, to kick the ball in the exact spot for his teammates like the ball had a GPS location device on it. He is and always will be the greatest NRL player of all time.

V 87 Comments
3 Wally Lewis Wally Lewis

Why can't anyone get this clear wally lewis is the best there ever was him and johns cannot compare lewis is the greatest of all time

The only man capable of playing the game stood still - unique and a Legend

It is debatable as to whether he is the best player of all time but he is definitely the best origin player of all time!

Wally Lewis or Andrew Johns are the best players there ever was

V 51 Comments
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

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.

Best player of all time no one can get hit like Thurston off load the ball and get straight back up like it was nothing kicking game is 99.9% all round best player. He never gives up makes plays out of nothing BEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME

JT is the best player I've ever seen! but I've only been watching NRL since 2013. although my dad has been watching footy since the 60's and he agrees, JT is the greatest of all time. Long live THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME! 1

V 135 Comments
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

Shame he played for South Sydney

Greatest player I have ever seen

Good bloke

V 3 Comments
6 Brad Fittler Brad Fittler

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

Great player, you just knew something was gonna happen when he got the ball. Still a great personality today, and still very involved with the game.

Hell of a player and an inspirational leader.

V 16 Comments
7 Billy Slater 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!

Just brilliant, very dangerous & fabulous to watch.

He is the best fullback ever seen and also he is to fast then the other fullback, very dangerous man
Go Billy the kid.

The best full back of all time.

V 63 Comments
8 Ellery Hanley

If he had been born in Australia, he would have acknowledged as the greatest ever

The greatest player I have ever seen with all the power poise and skill you could wish for

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

Simply the greatest, he had it all

V 16 Comments
9 Greg Inglis

Honestly no one can has his size speed and strength a pure freak of nature has you on the edge of your seat every time he touches the ball, he WILL go down as one as one of the greatest players to ever play the sport.

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.

He strenght on the ball is unbeleivable he carries the ball like its a tennis ball. He's a amazing full back for the south sydney rabbitohs. He also is very quick so when he receives a inside ball from adam reynolds he will bolt through them gaps1!


V 49 Comments
10 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 scored 180 tries, more than any other forward and 2nd on the all time try scoring list

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).

Lions to Menzies try

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The Contenders

11 Cameron Smith

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 Smith the greatest number 9 ever he has played for Melbourne Storm the greatest The maroons also the greatest the Kangaroos and plus he has captained all of them he is also a one team man

He just is the greatest of all time because every other NRL player listed above Cameron Smith is just outdated like Darren lockyer etc like holding records that now have been surpassed by Smith himself and the only play to/ will make the 400 club so?

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12 Reg Gasnier

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

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

The greatest centre I have ever seen.

A sheer genius and I’m privileged to have seen him play during the 1959 Test series. As a kid at the time he was my idol.

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13 Mal Meninga

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

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

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


V 5 Comments
14 Peter Sterling Peter Sterling

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

2nd best halfback in the world now suckers

He's bald

Seen him play, wow... Speed, agility.
The very best

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15 Arthur Beetson

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

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

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!

Known as the greatest Australian forward ever.

16 Stacey Jones

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

The chip and chase

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

go jonsey - bulldogbeast

V 4 Comments
17 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

18 Allan Langer

Langer was DA MAN. Would definately be in the top 5, but number 1 in my list. I'm sure others will agree

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

Allan langer was a legend on the feild

V 9 Comments
19 Garry Schofield

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

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.

The greatest ever. Simple and as basic as that.

Never had a off day

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

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21 Sonny Bill Williams

One of the best. Can play any position and still be as good as he already is

Just a beast of a man

A good try scorer

SBW is so good he should be on top and Richie cater Ben smith Savea the dager come on there not there.

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22 Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne could beat anyone in the game 1 on 1 and made something out of nothing. Nearly every single team he played in was a losing team yet he always excelled. The best to have ever played the game.

Jarryd Hayne should be in the top 20 he's the first ever player to cross codes to the nfl he's the best

Best player that ever lived

Jarryd hayne was the reason they reached the 2009 grandfinal

V 16 Comments
23 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.

Like watching God play rugby league.

V 5 Comments
24 Graeme Langlands

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

A radiation of spectacular proportion

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

Those that saw him play they know they saw things that Andrew Johns might only dream about doing. Don Lane did a T.V. show that featured Chang and Lane showed how Chang stood as far back as his own quarter and yet was marshaling players at the other end of the field. He controlled to whole game and all of its players. He was captain and coach of the Kangaroos at the same time, not coach after he retired. What most people have forgotten about Chang was that he was physically unfit to play before every game. He had a psychological condition that overtook him before every game. He would be vomiting in the dressing room before each match. He didn't talk to his team mates because he couldn't. But, they all told you that as soon as the whistle blew he was transformed. If anyone is as good as Langlands it was Johny Raper, Norm Provan or Reg Gasnier and they all played for the same team at the same time. No wonder they won 11 straight. Those not voting Changa into the top 5 have not seen him ...more

V 4 Comments
25 Bradley Clyde

He is definitely the best player ever

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

26 Hazem El Masri

Hands down, one of the greatest players and the leader of points in the game. His made history in Nrl and it will be a long time before anyone can top his points and other achievements. Apart from being the best player, he was also a leader, role model, ambassador for the community and organisations. He always excersiced sportsmanship and was a well balanced player, unlike other show ponies and troublemakers in the game. El Magic would make miracles on the field and was a loyal Bulldogs player.

Best player ever

Awesome player - legendary story - great rolemodel for human beings!
Hazem is somebody those outside of Australia need to hear more of.

One of histories right foot kickers and a grate tey saver plus he is an good on attack and those big shoulds can defend veary good l

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27 Steve Morris

Slippery Steve is the best you could never catch him and his two twins are following his footsteps GO THE DRAGONS

He's better than Benji marshal

Blinding speed and deft kicking. Could score from anywhere and often did. Long, flashy runs up the middle of the field are my memory of "slippery" Morris the man no could catch in the big red 'V'.

Slippery Steve the best player GOTHE DRAGONS

28 Martin Offiah

Last english back that was worth watching

The best British league player bar none.

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.

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

29 Brett Kimmorley

You go you good thing!

30 Brian Bevan

If wingers are to be judged on tries scored then its no contest. Brian is the best.

Top try scorer of all time has tobe one of the best of the past

Top try scorer, played for 20 years in the Super League

A try record that will never ever be beaten

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31 Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll played rugby union not rugby league, he shouldn't be on this list. Stupid Irish who don't know the difference.

The most intelligent player in the world... What a player... Thanks for the memories Brian

Best rugby player of all time, hope gets only medal left to win in rugby to finish his career on high.


V 2 Comments
32 Andrew Ettingshausen

He was definitely a good player to watch back in the day.

He's got problems because he plays for the Sharks

Love this guy he was the fastest man I ever seen


V 4 Comments
33 Mark Gasnier

Gaz was rated the Best attacking centre in the world during his time in the game. His try scoring abilities, try assists, freakish foot work, speed and strength all combined I'd say are second to none. The best centre of all time if you ask me!

Can't go past the dragons ledgend

34 Jamie Soward

Best player in history defiantly should be in top 5

Jamie Soward is the dragons best player he was the one who kicked the tigers out of the semi GO THE DRAGONS

Jamie Soward who's th worst player for the dragons and still is for the panthers

A bomb a legend the best a beast

V 4 Comments
35 Benji Marshall

Not only having the ability to outpace opponents, he outskills and outplays almost every other contender in the game. He has shown these abilities in the world cup and in the tri nations 2010. He has the utmost potential to unseat the current all time greats of this code. Go Benji!

Arthur Summons said it he's changed the game. Benji has raised standards by giving the game more new plays and skills then anyone before. He's only improving and when he makes complete consistency everyone will agree.

he can side step anyone and out skill anyone

Best kicker

V 13 Comments
36 Shane Webcke

Who the hell is this guy

37 Sam Burgess

the best

Go sam

Sam best

38 John Woods

truly the most entertaining rugby player i have ever seen, i wants spoke to him before a game, when he played at leigh - he told me what he would do and what time he would do it - he did it after he did this he pointed at me in the crowed and winked, another true legend

Absolute class with the ball in hand or with his feet. Could create a try from nothing one of the most underrated players of all time.

The greatest all-round rugby league player of all time. Fantastic try scorer/goal kicker and I've never seen anybody tackle better before or since -sheer class.

Best player I ever saw I loved watching him made it look easy.

V 6 Comments
39 Bob Fulton

Simply the best ever at 5/8 or centre. Those who don't rate him never saw him.

Only played a handful of games for Warrington, his home town, but he was simply outstanding. A player ahead of his time.

Could do anything - including goalkicking if he had to. Great defender and had marvellous acceleration.

The only reason Queensland won that first origin in 1980 was because Beetson wasn't playing against Fulton. Fulton and Beetson..1and 2 best ever respectively. Wally will tell you Brett Kenny was easily No.3...

V 1 Comment
40 Joe Rokocoko

The man @ league. One of the best players who I have ever seen and with the ability to be devastating on his day. He is of course not to be confused with the Rokocoko who played for the All Blacks.

41 Corey Parker

Corey is a forward that plays for Broncos and he is tough

Corey Parker is one of the best players I've ever seen

He is a really good player

His awesome

V 2 Comments
42 Alex Murphy

he has done more for rugby league than any other player of all time, he was a great player and a better coach, a true rugby legend, he won things at every club he went to. At leigh he won a cup as a player and as a coach

The greatest british player of all time. - markhampson123

Amazing speed off the mark, first class kicking game and hard as nails.

Simply the best! What a player

V 4 Comments
43 Keiron Cunningham

the best player to ever walk on the turf of knowsley road. When ever anyone thinks of st helens RLFC they automaticaly think of KC. Even got a statue:) THE MIGHTY KC! - sophielittler

One of the best players of the game, and not many rugby players have their own statue, he should be a lot higher and people just need to watch him play to realise.

In his prime, one of the best players in the world. Should be a lot higher on the rankings in my opinion

Fantastic player

V 3 Comments
44 Cooper Cronk

Revolutionized the kicking game of a number 7 and is in the top 3 greatest halfbacks I have ever seen. Controls the game with an iron fist and always makes the match winning play even while under pressure.

Best at try assist, best halfback

Easily the best halfback of the modern era

Great storm player

V 5 Comments
45 Paul Gallen

One of the greatest toughest forwards ever

This guy deserves to be a lot higher on this list

This guy should be last because he suck even though he is captain for NSW because he sucks

He’s trash

46 Kevin Sinfield

Sir Kevin.
Superb Kicker and Captain. Controls the Rhino's offense and defense.

Has Leeds going through him like Blackpool is in a, stick of rock

True legend, will be remembered for ever

Because he's not played in the NRL, means the southern hemisphere won't class him as one of the best players ever. It's southern hemisphere arrogance. Go Sir Kev!

V 6 Comments
47 Josh Dugan

I know I vote for him but he gets hurt in every tackle he is the worst player of all time


A legend

48 Israel Folau

The best of the best

Greatest athlete ever in NRL

You're the best ever. You are my insperation

Worst ever

49 Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson should be in the top 5 or even number 1 he has a solid step a mean dummy and is so so so fast he is an inspiration to me and more.

He is a legend with wicked skills and a great step and dummy I agree that he should be in the top 10 if you don't agree I don't know who you are

Most agile and one of the fastest halfbacks to ever play the game he's like benji Marshall times 45000000

Just magic this kid the best in the world

V 7 Comments
50 Percy Montgomery

Didn't look like a rugby player ( which trait is often the case in all sports ) could turn on a sixpence and flummoxed defences with a devastating sidestep. Long and lanky a formidable player.

He hardly ever mist a kick he should be number 10 he is a better kicker than dan carter he's got than hel ever have

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List Stats

5,000 votes
131 listings
11 years, 309 days old

Top Remixes (12)

1. Andrew Johns
2. Clive Churchill
3. Wally Lewis
1. Darren Lockyer
2. Andrew Johns
3. Allan Langer
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