9. Chris McKivat

It is almost a century since Chris McKivat worked his magic on the rugby league field.

A halfback with a shrewd and calculating mind, he holds the unique distinction of captaining Australia in both rugby codes.

McKivat's deeds on the 1911–12 Kangaroo tour, in which he led the tourists to Ashes victory, remained unchallenged for over 50 years.

Born and raised in the central west of New South Wales, McKivat was enticed to Sydney in 1905.

Three years later he was selected on the Wallabies' tour of England and America, and led the team in 17 matches when team captain, Paddy Moran, and his deputy, Fred Woods, were ill or injured.

McKivat led the Wallabies to victory in the Olympics gold-medal match and to a Test match victory over England at Blackheath.

His signing with rugby league during the great Wallaby raid of 1909 was a turning point for the 13–a-side game and undoubtedly convinced many of his rugby teammates to make the jump.

McKivat was a dominant figure in Tests between Australia and England from 1910 to 1912 and his style was a favourite subject of British scribes. ''How the old Wallaby does talk'', wrote one English reporter in 1911.

''His tongue never seems to cease except when he is opening out the game himself. But his remarks are to the point and he is a born leader.''

After his retirement, McKivat coached at Glebe, Norths and Wests, and was in charge of Norths when they landed their only competition titles in 1921 and 1922.

Position: Halfback.

Club: Glebe 1910–14.

Games for NSW: 13 (1910–12).

Tests for Australia: Five (1910–12) — three as captain.

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tour 1911–12 (captain).