48. Norm Provan

Norm Provan was a giant of the game in every respect. Apart from his imposing stature (he stood 193cm), Provan was a towering figure for St George in their record run of premiership wins and for Australia in 18 Test and World Cup appearances.

At Test level, he formed one of Australia's most revered back-row partnerships with Queensland and later Western Suburbs second-rower Kel O'Shea.

It was Provan's efforts for St George that helped cement his legend in the game.

He played in 10 of St George's 11 successive grand-final victories, the last five as captain-coach. He bowed out in 1965, when the Dragons triumphed 12–8 over Souths in front of 78,056 spectators.

In 1957, EE Christensen wrote how Provan with his stellar performances had gained for himself ''a niche in rugby league history along with the Burges, Pearces, Treweekes (sic) and Narvos ... Provan's crashing runs were a feature of the World Cup and, never a shiner, he was just as hard with his tackling as he was brilliant in attack.''

Provan was born in the NSW Riverina, went to school in the North Sydney district, and trialled unsuccessfully with Eastern Suburbs before joining St George from the Sutherland juniors.

''Provan was born to lead,'' wrote Ian Heads in March of the Dragons. ''His honesty, ambition, will to win, courage, dignity, modesty, pride in achievement, loyalty and fair play fitted him perfectly for the task.''

Position: Second row.

Club: St George 1951–65.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with St George 1956–65; Captained St George to premiership wins 1962–65

Games for NSW: 25 (1954–61).

Tests for Australia: 14 (1954–60).

World Cup matches: Four (1954–57)

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tour 1956–57; World Cups 1954, 1957