20. Benny Wearing
Benny Wearing was one of the most popular footballers of the 1920s, an exciting winger with South Sydney, NSW and Australia.
Wearing scored two tries and three goals for Souths in their 15–12 loss to Easts in the 1923 final, and then starred in the period between 1925 and 1932, when the red-and-greens won seven premierships in eight years.
Between 1921 and 1933, Wearing scored 144 tries in 172 first-grade games, which stood as a record before Nathan Merritt eclipsed his mark.
Wearing was a prolific point-scorer, but it was the dynamic nature of play that thrilled fans.
''His kick-over followed by a one-handed scoop of the ball was one of rugby league's great sights,'' wrote Ian Heads in True Blue.
Wearing's only Test was the third Ashes encounter of 1928, at the SCG, when he scored a then-record two tries and three goals in a famous Australian victory.
His second try, which gave the home side the lead in a thrilling second half, was a beauty — after ''Chimpy'' Busch and Eric Weissel worked the blindside, Wearing raced through and kicked ahead. Despite being knocked off-balance won the race for the ball.
After the game, English players expressed astonishment that Wearing had not been chosen earlier, yet 12 months later he controversially missed selection for the 1929–30 Kangaroo tour.
In The Referee, JC Davis bemoaned his omission, describing him succinctly as ''the finest wing-three-quarter of this century''.
Club: South Sydney 1921–33.
Club landmarks: Won premierships with Souths 1925–29, 1931–32.
Games for NSW: 21 (1924–32).
Tests for Australia: One (1928).