54. Keith Barnes

The sight of a Keith Barnes place-kick for goal was one of Australian rugby league's most spectacular and enduring visions between 1955 and 1968.

The quintessential gentleman-footballer, Barnes came to Australia from Port Talbot, Wales, when he was 15.

He played his early rugby league at Port Kembla, before Balmain recruited him and put him straight into first grade. He did not play a single lower-grade game in the following 14 seasons.

One of the greatest of all goalkickers — he landed 954 of them in premiership and representative football, including 742 for Balmain — Barnes was also a natural leader and champion fullback.

He was slender, seemingly vulnerable, yet a durable, skilful player of immense courage and determination. In 1959, he was named Kangaroo captain. As Australia's premier fullback of his era, Barnes played 14 Tests in which he booted 54 goals.

There were many stellar Keith Barnes goal-kicking performances: 10 out of 12 for City v Country in 1957; 11 goals in a game against North Sydney in 1959; 10 out of 11 against Leeds on the first match of the '59–60 tour; 10 out of 13 against France in 1960.

A personal favourite was the magnificent goal he landed against St George at Leichhardt in 1960. With the score at 15–all, with three minutes to play, from 57 metres out he lifted a kick high over the head of Saints' Norm Provan, who was standing on the mark. It went straight between the distant posts.

Position: Fullback.

Clubs: Wollongong 1953–54; Balmain 1955–68.

Club landmarks: Scored club record 1,519 points for Balmain.

Games for NSW: 12 (1956–63).

Tests for Australia: 14 (1959–66) — 12 as captain.

World Cup matches: Three (1957–60) — two as captain.

Representative landmarks: Captained 1959–60 Kangaroos; 1957 World Cup; Captained Australia's 1960 World Cup team.