BY KANE AUSTIN
Rugby league fans rejoiced last night at the naming of not two – but five new Immortals at a gala event at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Many believed pre-World War II legends needed to be recognised and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was quick to make things right, opening the show by announcing Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown would be joining the most illustrious individual honour in rugby league.
“The judges took the view that this was a one-off opportunity to recognise the past, to recognise three players from the pre-war era who became legends of the game,” Greenberg said.
“If the panel did not take this step we could have lost our chance to include these champion players among our Immortals.
“It was an opportunity the game could not afford to miss and the Immortals now reflect the full history of rugby league – from 1908 to the present.”
They were joined later in the evening by two living icons in Norm Provan and Mal Meninga.
“There are extremely worthy individuals, and men, that’s been involved in our game,” Meninga told the audience.
“I’m fully aware and understand that I’m very privileged and honoured to be here. And I fully understand that any one of you could be here in my place.”
New Hall of Fame inductee Gorden Tallis however may have stolen the night with his moving speech.
He was joined by Mark Graham, Cliff Lyons, Ricky Stuart, Steve Menzies and Petero Civoneciva.