Hall of Fame snubs Queensland legends
MAROONS legends Kevin Walters, Steve Renouf and Paul Vautin have all missed out in an NRL Hall of Fame selection shock which has seen not one Queenslander picked from this year's list of 25 names.
Rugby league greats Danny Buderus, Stacey Jones, Ruben Wiki and Craig Young were announced as this year's inductees ahead of Wednesday night's formal Hall of Fame celebration dinner in Sydney.
The Maroons snubbing also saw Gary Belcher, Rod Reddy and Michael Hancock miss out on being inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame, which already features legends such as Wally Lewis, Gorden Tallis and Allan Langer.
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A 24-person voting group, which includes Queensland Hall of Famers Darren Lockyer, Petero Civoneceva and Shane Webcke, whittled down a list of 25 nominees to the four chosen players.
Buderus, Jones, Wiki and Young boast more than 100 internationals and six premiership appearances.
However, it will come as a shock to Queensland fans that no Maroons representative was selected.
Walters, Renouf and Vautin alone share 11 premiership wins, 68 Origins and 45 Tests between them. Belcher, one of Queensland's greatest fullbacks, played 15 games for Australia between 1986 and 1991 and won two premierships.
The four inductees will join the 106 other Hall of Fame members and will be formally inducted on Wednesday night.
NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said the four inductees were all worthy recipients of the honour.
"All four of our player inductees will stand proudly alongside the 106 players who they will join in the Hall of Fame," Greenberg said.
"These are some of the best players of their generations, and they will now join the best of the best.
"They each dominated their respective eras and commanded enormous respect. They still do.
"This year's Hall of Fame class is an exceptional one. We will be recognising greatness when our latest Class are formally inducted."
Senior Manager of NRL Awards Frank Puletua said the induction ceremony would be one of the most important nights on the calendar.
"This year, we will be acknowledging our contributors as well as our players," Mr Puletua said.
"The Hall of Fame induction has become an incredibly important night for the game as we take the opportunity to reflect on our pioneers and our finest players.
"All four of our player inductees can now forever be known as Hall of Famers, and that only adds to their standing in the game."
Three contributors - one each from Administration, Broadcast Media and Print Media - will be announced on Tuesday ahead of the formal induction.
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2019 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Born: February 6, 1978, Taree, NSW
Premiership Career 1997-2013:
Played 257 (237+20). Tries 61, Goals 1, Points 246
First Grade Debut: Newcastle v South Queensland at Marathon Stadium, 23/3/1997 (Rd 3)
Grand Finals: 1 - Newcastle 2001 (W)
Australia: Tests 24 (2001-06), Kangaroo tours 2001, 2003; Tri-Nations 2004, 2005
NSW: State of Origins 21 (2002-08)
Born: May 7, 1976, Auckland, NZ
Premiership career 1995-2009:
Played 261 (258+3). Tries 77, Goals 176, Field Goals 14, Points 674
First grade debut: Auckland v Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium, 23/4/1995 (Rd 7)
Grand finals: 1 - Warriors 2002 c (L)
New Zealand: Tests 46 (1995-2006), World Cups 1995, 2000,
Tri-Nations 1999, 2005, 2006; Captained Kiwis in seven Tests
Born: January 21, 1973, Auckland, NZ
Clubs: Canberra, Auckland
Position: Centre/second row/prop
Premiership career 1993-2008:
Played 312 (290+22). Tries 72, Points 288
Canberra 1993-2004: Played 225 (208+17). Tries 60, Points 240
Auckland 2005-08: Played 87 (82+5). Tries 12, Points 48
First Grade Debut: Canberra v Souths at Bruce Stadium, 13/6/1993 (Rd 11)
Grand Finals: 1 - Canberra 1994 (W)
New Zealand: Tests 55 (1994-2006), Tri-Nations 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006
Captained the Kiwis in 18 Tests; World Cups 1995, 2000
Born: June 25, 1956, Wollongong, NSW
Club: St George
Premiership career 1977-88:
Played 234 (232+2). Tries 11, Field Goals 2, Points 42
First grade debut: St George v Penrith at Kogarah Jubilee Oval, 20/3/1977 (Rd 1)
Grand finals: 3 - St George 1977 (D), 1977R (W), 1979 (W)
Australia: Tests 20 (1978-84); Kangaroo tours 1978, 1982
New South Wales: Interstate matches 5 (1979-81)
Matches v touring international teams 1 (1977)
State of Origins 5 (1980-84)