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April 1: Magic man El Masri; Project Apollo launched

On this day, the Super league war ramps up, a rule change alters rugby league forever and Project Apollo is launched.


A revolutionary rule was introduced after almost 60 years that moved rugby league a big step further away from rugby union with a move from unlimited tackles to limited tackle sets.

The opening three matches of the 1967 NSWRL season saw North Sydney beat Newtown, St George beat Manly and Souths down Western Suburbs under a radical new four-tackle set rule. This number was upped to six-tackle sets four years later and has remained that way ever since.


The highest pointscorer in NRL history, Bulldogs sharpshooter Hazem El Masri, is born in Tripoli, Lebanon – hardly rugby league heartland but now etched indelibly on the sport's history.

Brasher scores from another Elias bomb


Shearer kicks for himself


A hat-trick to renowned try-scorer Steve "The Pearl" Renouf helps Brisbane to their first win of the 1994 NSWRL season after a draw and two losses, crushing Eastern Suburbs 44-12.

Steve Renouf in action for the Brisbane Broncos.
Steve Renouf in action for the Brisbane Broncos. ©NRL Photos


April Fool's Day was no joke in 1995 with news of the spiteful Super League war erupting in newspapers across the country.

Kerry Packer joins the ARL in legal action against News Ltd, NSWRL board member Peter Moore stuns plenty with his resignation, Bradley Clyde signs a lucrative Super League deal and the ARL threatens to ban Super League aligned players from representative honours.


The NRL’s newly established Innovation Committee launches Project Apollo, a mission to have the premiership back up and running by July 1.

The committee considers a range of options, including isolating players from all 16 clubs on Tangalooma Island in Queensland before transporting them to venues such as Suncorp Stadium and Cbus Super Stadium for games.


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

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