2. Ted Courtney
If there is one word that sums up Ted Courtney, it is persistence.
He never relented when on the football field, and his first-class rugby league career extended from 1908 to 1924, culminating in him playing alongside his son at Western Suburbs in his final season.
Courtney played against the All Golds in 1907, and from the 1908 Kangaroos tour to the visit of the British Lions in 1914 — an era that saw many famous names come and go — Courtney was the cornerstone of Australia's Test packs.
Already having made two Kangaroo tours to Great Britain, had the World War I not intervened, there is no doubt his representative career would have extended towards a decade.
A hard and resolute front-rower with Newtown, Norths and Wests, Courtney had a propensity to tackle opponents by launching his body in ferocious dives at their legs.
Far from being a dour or stoic forward though, Courtney could readily find the tryline following up in support.
On the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour he was leading try-scorer among the forwards, crossing 10 times. On both counts, Courtney's forward play pleased the fans - he was particularly popular in Sydney and in the north of England.
Perhaps the greatest indication of his rightful standing in the annals of the game comes from Dally Messenger, who in 1940 nominated Courtney alongside Frank Burge as two of the forwards he would most want to play alongside.
Clubs: Newtown 1908; Western Suburbs 1909, 1911–24; North Sydney 1910.
Games for NSW: 35 (1907–19).
Tests for Australia: 11 (1908–14).
Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1908–09, 1911–12.