81. Mal Meninga

Mal Meninga's endless list of records and achievements stands as a testament to the strength and perseverance he displayed over a magnificent 17-year career in top level football.

The former police cadet burst onto the scene with Souths in Brisbane in 1978 and was a Queensland representative the following season and in the Australian team soon after his 22nd birthday.

Meninga had been blessed with size and strength and used those qualities to their fullest. He is the only player to tour four times with the Kangaroos and the only player to make two Kangaroo tours as captain.

And he achieved much of this after he withstood the pain and frustration of four broken arms during the 1987–88 seasons.

Meninga recovered from the setbacks as a more mature and more consistent player.

''The true test of a champion is not just what he does as an individual,'' said Bob Fulton of Meninga. ''It's what he does for the players around him''.

Meninga was renowned for charges through the defence as he captained Canberra to three premierships.

Perhaps his most memorable performance came at Old Trafford in 1990, when he helped Australia to salvage the Ashes with a barnstorming try in the final minutes of the second Test.

Position: Centre.

Clubs: Souths Brisbane 1979–85; St Helens 1984–85; Canberra 1986–94.

Club landmarks: Won Brisbane premierships with Souths 1981, 1985; captained Canberra to premiership wins 1989–90, 1994.

Games for Queensland: 42 (1979–84; includes 32 State of Origins 1980–94).

Tests for Australia: 45 (1982–94) — 23 as captain.

World Cup matches: One (captain).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1982, 1986, 1990 (captain), 1994 (captain); The only player to tour four times with the Kangaroos; Holds records for most Tests for Australia, most points for Australia, most appearances for Queensland and most points for Queensland.