23. Eric Weissel

Eric Weissel's long run on a lame ankle to secure the ''Battle of Brisbane'' Test for Australia was the greatest moment of a brilliant career.

He was being treated for that injury, when he saw an opportunity and hobbled back onto the field, picked up the loose ball in his own half and set sail for the line.

Tackled just short of the line, the ball was kicked free from the ensuing ruck and halfback Hec Gee grabbed it and scored. Against insurmountable odds, Australia won 15–6.

Born in Cootamundra, Weissel stands as country football's all-time hero. He never left the bush, instead playing for a string of Riverina clubs during a career that spanned 18 seasons.

He was probably the greatest Maher Cup player of them all, and on the wider stage - in a career that featured eight Tests against England - his ranking was almost as impressive.

The Sunday Guardian called Weissel '''the greatest all-round exponent of rugby league football since Dally Messenger'', while English captain Jonty Parkin said simply that he was the greatest player he had seen. Tom Goodman described him as a ''complete five-eighth''.

A fine left-foot goalkicker, on the 1929–30 Kangaroo campaign Weissel scored 127 points and forged a wonderful scrum-base combination with half Joe Busch and lock Wally Prigg.

A few years earlier, in 1926, he had top-scored with 42 for Riverina in the annual country cricket carnival at the SCG, and then caught and bowled another Cootamundra born lad, Don Bradman.

Position: Five-eighth.

Clubs: Cootamundra 1921–26; Temora 1927–34; Barmedman 1935–36; Narrandera 1937; Wagga Magpies 1938–39.

Games for NSW: Five (1929–32)

Tests for Australia: Eight (1928–32)

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tour 1929–30.