League NSW team of the Century named - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League NSW team of the Century named

By Steve Jancetic 19/05/2008 07:52:09 PM Comments (0)

He's received just about every accolade the game has to offer but rugby league Immortal John Raper admitted there was a gaping hole in his resume - State of Origin.

Raper, who was on Monday named at lock in the NSW team of the Century, played for NSW in the 1960s.

It was an era pre-Origin when the Blues dominated their severely outclassed northern rivals.

"I would have loved to play Origin because the Queenslanders never really had a chance against us," Raper recalled.

"We used to beat them pretty convincingly but they had some great players - we'd play alongside them when we went away (on tour) and there were some great players from Queensland on those tours.

"You see the contest now and it's just so fierce."

Despite Origin being considered rugby league's toughest arena, only three players who played for NSW in Origin contests - Andrew Johns, Glenn Lazarus and Steve Rogers - were named in the greatest ever NSW side.

Five-eighth Bob Fulton - who has now been named in the Australian Team of the Century, the NSW Country Team of the Century and the NSW Team of the Century within the last month, said he would never grow tired of receiving honours like this.

"This tops it right off, it's been a pretty exciting time, it's been a humbling time," Fulton said.

"The thing about this is you just go out and play and you can't set your goals in relation to be rewarded or selected like we have been over the past four weeks.

"I'm very very satisfied and very very happy in relation to being selected in this particular team."

Monday's announcement was brought forward at the request of NSW coach Craig Bellamy, who said he wanted members of the Team of the Century involved with his side in the lead-up to Wednesday night's Origin series opener.

Members of the team will present the current crop of Blues stars with their jerseys for Wednesday night's game before being paraded at ANZ Stadium just before kick-off in game one.

"I just thought it would be great if we could have those guys come along on Tuesday night to the jumper presentation," Bellamy said.

"They hold them in awe, I'm sure it will give them a little bit of inspiration for Wednesday night."

NSW Team of the Century: Clive Churchill, Ken Irvine, Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands, Dally Messenger, Bob Fulton, Andrew Johns, Frank Burge, Sandy Pearce, Glenn Lazarus, Ron Coote, Norm Provan, John Raper. Reserves: Wally Prigg, Dave Brown, Steve Rogers, Roy Bull.

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