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Brad Fittler and Mal Meninga chat at the end of one of the 1994 Origin matches.

On this day, Kalyn Ponga is born, Origin's greatest players and Hazem El Masri becomes top Dog.


Gavin Allen is born. Allen won a premiership with the Broncos in 1992 and was a reserve for the '93 grand final-winning team.


Dean Schifilliti is born. Schifilliti captained the Steelers in 1991 and played with the Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Adelaide Rams and Parramatta before retiring in 2000.

Dean Schifilliti playing for Adelaide Rams.
Dean Schifilliti playing for Adelaide Rams. ©NRL Photos


Kalyn Ponga is born in Port Hedland, WA. He soon moves to Mt Isa for eight years and then to Palmerston North, NZ for the next five years where he excels at rugby league, touch football, hockey, rugby union, golf and soccer.

In 2010, Ponga won the New Zealand under 13 national golf championship. But after returning to Queensland, Ponga decides rugby league is his calling and after debuting for the Cowboys in 2016 he has chalked up 84 NRL games and four Origin appearances for the Maroons, earning a reputation as one of the game's most dynamic attacking weapons.

Mesmerising Ponga


The greatest 25 Origin players are announced as part of Origin's silver jubilee year. The top 25s are: NSW – Tim Brasher, Noel Cleal, Bradley Clyde, Laurie Daley, Ben Elias, Andrew Ettingshausen, Brad Fittler, Eric Grothe, Paul Harragon, Garry Jack, Andrew Johns, Brett Kenny, Glenn Lazarus, Paul McGregor, Steve Mortimer, Michael O’Connor, Wayne Pearce, Ray Price, Steve Roach, Ian Roberts, Paul Sironen, Peter Sterling, Ricky Stuart, Geoff Toovey and Rod Wishart. Queensland – Arthur Beetson, Gary Belcher, Martin Bella, Kerry Boustead, Chris Close, Greg Conescu, Greg Dowling, Trevor Gillmeister, Peter Jackson, Allan Langer, Gary Larson, Wally Lewis, Bob Lindner, Darren Lockyer, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Rod Morris, Dale Shearer, Matt Sing, Darren Smith, Gorden Tallis, Paul Vautin, Kevin Walters, Steve Walters, Shane Webcke.

First Origin try: Darren Lockyer


Penrith stage a stunning comeback to beat Brisbane 29-28 at Suncorp Stadium. The Panthers somehow score twice in the final minute to level before Peter Wallace nails a 42-metre field goal.


Winger Hazem El Masri breaks the Bulldogs’ all-time appearance record previously held by Steve Mortimer when he plays his 273rd top-grade game for the club.


The NRL agree to the introduction of an 18th man as a concussion replacement, starting in round five, but only under extreme circumstances. The 18th man will be activated when three players fail Head Injury Assessments or if a player is ruled out of a game through foul play and the perpetrator is sin-binned or sent from the field. A proposal by the NRL that the 18th man be an “emerging player” is quashed after opposition from clubs.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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