Raiders coach Ricky Stuart in his playing days after helping Canberra beat Penrith in the 1990 grand final.

Ricky Stuart, Cliff Lyons and Petero Civoniceva head a list of 25 former players in contention for NRL Hall of Fame induction.

An independent screening committee whittled down a provisional list of more than 100 former players to 25 final candidates and will unveil six new Hall of Fame inductees in July.

Also on the list are Jack 'Bluey' Watkins and Stacey Jones.

NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenberg said all nominees were well credentialed to be included in the final list.

''The players nominated collectively represent thousands of matches, hundreds of rugby league years and millions of memories for fans," Greenberg said.

''Their on-field performances live on today among the many passionate supporters who saw them play - and they will never be forgotten.

''All 25 are worthy nominees, given the roles they played in making rugby league such a great
sport.''

Senior Manager of NRL Awards, Frank Puletua, said the 25 nominees would now go to a Voting
College of 25 judges, representing a cross-section of the game.

''The Voting College will select their top five players who they believe should be included among
the best of the best as part of our Hall of Fame,'' Puletua said.

Sea Eagles legend and former NSW and Australian rep Cliff Lyons.
Sea Eagles legend and former NSW and Australian rep Cliff Lyons. ©NRL Photos

''Every one of the nominees displayed excellence, persistence and sheer determination time and
again during their playing career and each has a strong case to be included as a Hall of Fame
inductee this year.

''Since the announcement earlier this year of the resurgence of the Hall of Fame and Immortals
concept, there has been passionate discussion among fans, coaches, players and commentators
alike and I'm sure this will continue throughout years to come.

''The next step will be to announce and induct six new Hall of Fame members later this year, joining
the 100 Hall of Fame members automatically inducted as part of the Game's Centenary year in
2008.''

The six new Hall of Fame recipients will be announced in July, before being formally inducted into
the Hall of Fame in August.

Up to two new Immortals will also be announced and inducted as part of a gala ceremony in August.