1. Billy Cann

Billy Cann first came into fame in Sydney rugby union as a three-quarter, a contemporary of Dally Messenger and Albert Rosenfeld.

Like Rosenfeld, Cann was frustrated at being ignored by selectors, and turned to rugby league upon its formation in August 1907, playing in the NSW team against Baskerville's 'All Golds'.

Cann was one the finest all-round footballers to ever don a rugby league jersey — he could cover every position on the paddock from winger to second row.

At times, he played as a ''rover'', moving about the field seeking out opportunities and shoring-up his team's defences.

The program for NSW's tour of New Zealand in 1912 described him as ''fast and tricky in the loose, and a sound tackler (who) can fill with credit almost any position in the field''.

He quickly embraced the greater scope for forwards in the new game.

Relatively tall for his day, and around 80kg, it was Cann who introduced the now traditional Australian style of fast forward play, in which every forward is capable of combining with the backs to move the ball upfield.

Billy Cann toured Britain with three Kangaroo teams (the first two as a player), and later became a respected official of the NSWRL, still serving the code in the 1950s.

Position: Lock.

Club: South Sydney 1908–16.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Souths 1908–09, 1914.

Games for NSW: 28 (1907–13).

Tests for Australia: Eight (1908–14).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1908–09, 1911–12.