31. Sidney 'Joe' Pearce

The son of legendary Australian hooker Sandy Pearce, Sidney ''Joe'' Pearce became one of the game's greatest exponents in his own right.

He played Australian rules as a youngster but was soon drawn to the game in which his father had enjoyed so much success.

Joe Pearce was graded by Easts in 1929, originally as a fullback, but soon shifted to the second row with outstanding results.

He made his interstate debut in 1930 and within two years was a fully-fledged Test player.

He played a prominent role in the Ashes series of 1932, especially when he slotted in at five-eighth in the memorable second Test — the Battle of Brisbane — after Eric Weissel suffered an ankle injury.

Pearce's huge hands made him one of the game's surest handlers, and he was often seen holding the ball in one hand while palming off defenders with the other.

In 1933–34, he became the first player to emulate the feat of his father by touring with the Kangaroos (Sandy had toured in 1908–09 and 1921–22).

Joe toured again in 1937–38, but was a passenger for most of the trip after breaking his leg en route, in New Zealand.

Joe Pearce was also part of one of the most formidable club teams of all time, playing in premiership-winning Easts teams in 1935–36–37 and 1940.

Position: Second row.

Club: Eastern Suburbs 1929–42.

Club landmarks: Won premierships with Easts 1935–37, 1940.

Games for NSW: 32 (1930–41).

Tests for Australia: 13 (1932–37).

Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1933–34, 1937–38; Australian tour of New Zealand 1935.