Player Poll: Favourite Indigenous players
From Arthur Beetson through to today's young stars, Indigenous players have enriched the rugby league world with their flair and skill. These are the Indigenous legends who caught the imagination of the NRL players of today.
Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers)
Probably David Peachey. The silky skills, to watch him as a fullback – obviously I played a bit of fullback as a younger bloke so growing up as a kid I always looked up to him and loved the way he played.
Ryan James (Titans)
I'd have to say my great mate Greg Bird. He didn't know much about his Indigenous heritage when we first started playing together but he was just such a great competitor. At his first All Stars camp he put his hand up and said he didn't know much about his Indigenous heritage and he got to learn about it and find out about his background. It was great to play with him for the amount of time that I did. He was a great role model and a great leader to be around and a great competitor and we're still great mates today.
Issac Luke (Warriors)
My favourite Maori player was Tawera Nikau. He was a hard guy. My favourite Indigenous Australian player was Steve Renouf who played for the Broncos. I used to play in the centres like him when I was a kid, I had the same Madison brand headgear as him, all leather; he was the guy.
Tim Grant (Wests Tigers)
When I was younger I was a massive Newcastle fan and Owen Craigie and Leo Dynevor and guys like that I sort of looked up to. But it doesn't matter what team or what era, you look back and there's always been great Indigenous players.
Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
I'd have to say Preston Campbell or David Peachey. I was a fullback growing up and they were just so lightning on their feet so I tried to base my game around them. I loved the step, the fend and trying to get around people, and no one was as good as those two at doing that.
Chris McQueen (Titans)
It's hard to single out just one because I have played with and against so many great Indigenous players, but growing up I was definitely a big fan of Steve Renouf.
Bodene Thompson (Warriors)
Preston [Campbell]. I played with 'Presto' at the Titans and seeing a 72kg halfback chop down a 115kg Fuifui Moimoi off the kick-off when he ran it straight, that was crazy. Presto used to do things well above his weight class week in, week out. He was also a giving guy, selfless, and a great role model to me when I was coming through at the Titans.
Corey Oates (Broncos)
That's a tough one... Wendell Sailor. It has to be the Dell! He's always a lot of fun that bloke and he's a great fella as well. You can tell him that.
Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers)
Rhys Wesser, he was the man. He wasn't the biggest but broke heaps of tackles and scored heaps of tries.
Nat Butcher (Roosters)
I'd have to say Greg Inglis because I enjoyed watching Melbourne play a lot when I was younger. Greg Inglis was unstoppable when he was with them so I really enjoyed watching him dominate.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Warriors)
Probably one who is most people's favourite, Greg Inglis. He is so dominant on the field and a real public figure for people around my age, so it would be him.
Ash Taylor (Titans)
You can't go past JT. I loved watching Darren Lockyer play as well because he was such an influence on me as a kid growing up. But seeing what JT could do – especially in State of Origin – was just unbelievable.
Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters)
I played against him and watched plenty of him, so there's no going past Matt Bowen. He was special to watch and I can tell you he was very hard to tackle. I learnt first-hand in my second game of first grade when he stepped past me about four times. He was a really special guy on and off the field which makes him an even better person.
Herman Ese'ese (Broncos)
Greg Inglis. He was my role model and favourite player growing up. I used to love him when he was playing at the Melbourne Storm and I still idolise him now. Sam Thaiday is another one. I'm privileged to play with him every week. I've played against Greg once. That was my first game for the Broncos. It was a bit surreal and overwhelming. He was awesome after the game. It was a good opportunity to play against him and a dream come true.