60. Barry Muir

Halfback Barry ''Garbo'' Muir wasn't a big man, but when it comes to the question of ''characters'' in rugby league he's a giant — a guaranteed grand finalist every time.

The successor to Keith Holman as Australia's halfback, Muir was one of the finest tacklers of his era.

Noel Kelly summed him up this way: ''He's a real Queenslander, Garbo. To him, New South Welshmen will always be cockroaches, city slickers and big-timers.''

To Arthur Summons, Muir was ''the fiercest competitor I ever played against and the best halfback I had the pleasure to play with''.

Muir was Australia's Test halfback through a particularly tough period, 1959 to 1964, when his British rival was the dazzling Alex Murphy.

He became Australia's vice-captain and in 1963 was a key member of the Kangaroo team that became the first in 51 years to win the Ashes in England.

It was in the brutal third Ashes Test of that tour that referee Eric Clay sent Muir off after the Kangaroo half had taken a wild kick at either the ball or rival Tommy Smales.

Muir was Queensland captain for four years and in the later years of a long career turned his hand to captain-coaching (with Wests, Ayr and Tweed Heads) — the stepping stone to colourful years that followed as a non-playing coach, most notably of Queensland in the 1970s, when he injected a great competitive spirit into teams that were generally out-matched in personnel.

Position: Halfback.

Clubs: Tweed Heads Seagulls 1956, 1971; Toowoomba Valleys 1957; Wests Brisbane 1958–68; Ayr 1970.

Games for Queensland: 25 (1959–66).

Tests for Australia: 22 (1959–64) — one as captain.

World Cup matches: Three (1960) — one as captain.

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1959–60, 1963–64; World Cup 1969; Australian tour of New Zealand 1961.