The NRL today paid tribute to one of its Immortals, the late Reg Gasnier, who died overnight after a long illness.
NRL CEO, Mr Dave Smith, said Gasnier was recognised as one of the greatest players the game has seen.
“Not only did he play the game like no-one else, Reg was widely regarded as one of the true gentlemen of Rugby League,” he said.
“His record speaks for itself… six Premierships and 39 Tests and those who were lucky enough to see him play say he was one of those players who set the crowd alight every time he touched the ball.
“He was one of the select group of original Immortals – that puts his place in the game in perspective.”
Mr Smith said Gasnier was also acknowledged as an accomplished Rugby League television commentator who had a great knowledge of the game.
ARLC Chairman, Mr John Grant, said the passing of Gasnier would leave a big gap in the Rugby League world.
“Reg is one of only eight Immortals and that means he will always have a special place in our game,” he said.
“We’ve lost one of the greatest players the game has seen and he will be missed by the entire Rugby League community.”
Gasnier captained Australia in eight Tests and was captain of the 1967-68 Kangaroos.
He played third grade with St George in 1958 from junior club Renown United and played first grade and Test football the following season; he played four games in reserve grade and then five in first grade before being chosen for NSW in 1959.
Gasnier played President's Cup (junior reps) in 1957-58.
He scored three tries in his second Test against New Zealand, three tries in his first match on the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour, three in his second and three in his Test debut against Great Britain.
He played in six of St George’s grand final winning sides (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965).
Former Sydney Sun sportswriter EE Christensen chose Gasnier as the NSW Player of the Year in 1959, 1961 and 1964 (with Johnny Raper). Injury ended Gasnier’s career prematurely in France in 1968.
With Clive Churchill, Johnny Raper and Bob Fulton, he was named as one the original “Immortals” in Rugby League Week in 1981.
Games Trs Gls F/G Pts
CLUB CAREER 1959-67
St George 1959-67 125 127 20 - 42
v. touring sides 1962-63 2 3 5 - 19
TOTAL 127 130 25 - 440
REPRESENTATIVE CAREER 1959-67
City Firsts 1959-65 5 3 - - 9
v. touring sides 1960-64 3 4 - - 12
NEW SOUTH WALES 1959-67
v. Queensland 1959-67 16 13 3 - 45
v. touring sides 1959-67 5 4 - - 12
TOTAL 21 17 3 - 57
Tests and World Cup 1959-67 39 28 - - 84
Tour matches 1959-67 38 37 3 - 117
TOTAL 77 65 3 - 201
All senior matches 233 219 31 - 719