Graeme Langlands

In 1962, the two NSW Country fullbacks for the annual games against City were the dazzling Newcastle player, Les Johns, in the firsts, and a 20-year-old from Wollongong.

When Johns had to pull out of the NSW team, the Country Seconds fullback replaced him. ''Don't worry about this kid,'' said the NSW captain Tony Paskins, ''he could be even better [than Johns]''.

The kid was Graeme Langlands, who over the following years 13 years would build one of league's greatest careers.

He moved to St George in 1963, and was Saints' fullback in the grand final; for Australia, with Ken Thornett at the back, he was a centre.

Langlands starred on that year's Kangaroo tour, partnering Reg Gasnier, and his 20 points scored in the second Test tied the Ashes record.

Langlands' nickname of ''Changa'' was as well-known as his prodigious sidestep.

He was Saints captain from 1970 to 1976, captain-coach from 1972, first-choice Australian captain from 1970 to 1975, and captain-coach of the 1973 Kangaroos.

''If Johnny Raper was the greatest of the Moderns, as most people seem to agree, then Langlands can't be far behind,'' declared Rugby League News in 1972.

Ken McCaffery described him simply as ''the best of them all''. In 1999, he and Wally Lewis became the game's fifth and sixth ''Immortals''.

Australia won the series-deciding third Ashes Test of 1974 at the SCG, on the back of a stirring second-half performance from the captain. When the crowd, seemingly every man and woman, began chanting, ''Changa! Changa!'' ... perhaps that was the greatest tribute of them all.

Position: Fullback/Centre.

Clubs: Wollongong 1962; St George 1963–76.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with St George 1963–66; Scored club record 1554 points for St George.

Games for NSW: 36 (1962–75).

Tests for Australia: 34 (1963–74) — seven as captain.

World Cup matches: 11 (1968–75 — eight as captain).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1963–64, 1967–68, 1973 (captain); Australian tours of New Zealand 1965, 1969, 1971 (captain); World Cups 1968, 1972 (captain); World Series 1975 (captain); Inducted as an Immortal 1999.