26. Peter Madsen

In 1982, when Rugby League Week magazine assembled a most distinguished panel of judges in the game's history to pick a ''Hall of Fame'' Australian rugby league XIII, their most discussed choice was front-rower Peter 'Mick' Madsen.

The judges were emphatic in placing him alongside fellow Queenslander Duncan Hall and Easts' Sandy Pearce in the front row.

An immensely strong man, Madsen was a foundation stone of Queensland and Toowoomba's rise to the dominant place in Australian rugby league in the 1920s.

He represented Toowoomba every year from 1925 to 1937, played 40 games for Queensland, nine Tests and 37 tour matches for Australia.

With regular captain Frank McMillan injured, he assumed the leadership for the second Ashes Test on the 1933–34 tour.

In the 1970s, Duncan Thompson named Madsen and Herb Steinohrt as the greatest of all prop combinations, describing them as 'rough men in rough positions, yet surprisingly polished in ball handling and distribution'.

Madsen was a big man, (185cm and 96kg), who played with his sleeves rolled up. Stories of strength and courage accompanied him through his career. ''Nature's gentleman ... tough as they come,'' said Joe Pearce.

An enduring symbol of the stoutness and honesty of the country player, Madsen retired in 1937 and the great administrator Harry Sunderland would write poignantly of a powerful run he made in his final interstate game.

''We who have known his true worth as a gentleman and a player,'' Sunderland commented, ''will never allow to fade from our memories that last charge that he made.''

Position: Prop.

Club: Brothers Toowoomba 1921–37.

Games for Queensland: 40 (1928–37).

Tests for Australia: Nine (1929–36) — one as captain.

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1929–30, 1933–34.