8. Howard Hallett

Howard Hallett stood unsurpassed as Australia's greatest ever fullback until the arrival of Frank McMillan or, more likely, Clive Churchill.

Hallett broke the mould of conventional fullback play. He played Australian football in Sydney before transferring to league, where initially he excelled as a centre before moving to fullback on the 1911–12 Kangaroo tour.

This rare journey led to him successfully bucking the trend of orthodoxy and stodgy play of conventional fullbacks at that time.

Before him, fullbacks in league followed the rugby union tradition of offering little more than catching the ball and kicking it, and providing a last line of defence.

Hallett possessed wonderful kicking and handling skills, was able to catch the ball from a high kick on his fingertips while running at top speed, and was far superior to any of his contemporary fullbacks in initiating passing movements.

He was the first local man to master the art of kicking the ball into touch on the bounce, and in his golden period his tackling was deadly.

Hallett's teammates were so assured of his ability to stop opponents in the last line of defence that he was bestowed the nickname of ''The Rock of Gibraltar''.

Hallett's Test career was curtailed by the advent of World War I, but he continued to serve South Sydney with distinction, being part of three premiership-winning sides (1909, 1914 and 1918) before his retirement in 1924.

Position: Fullback/Centre.

Club: South Sydney 1909–16, 1918–24.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Souths 1909, 1914, 1918.

Games for NSW: 17 (1909–14).

Tests for Australia: Six (1911–14).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tour 1911–12.