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April 11: Nathan's record full of merit; NRL gets tough on shoulder charge

On this day, Nathan Merritt secured a special place in Bunnies folklore, plans to select an eighth Rugby League Immortal are unveiled and the shoulder charge is outlawed.


Geoff Selby is born. After playing 39 games with the Illawarra Steelers and 44 for St George, Selby tragically died in a car accident in 1989. The St George Illawarra Dragons have kept Selby's memory alive with the annual presentation of the Geoff Selby Memorial Coaches Award.


Penrith fullback Rhys Wesser is considered the most surprising omission from the Australian squad of 23 named for the Test against New Zealand on April 22.  As expected, Andrew Johns was not considered by selectors because of a lack of match fitness following his 2004 knee reconstruction. 


North Queensland prop Carl Webb challenges Sydney Roosters enforcer Willie Mason to a fight for charity at the end of the season.

Cowboys prop Carl Webb.
Cowboys prop Carl Webb. ©NRL Photos


Rugby League Week announce plans to induct an eighth player into the ranks of the Immortals in 2012. A panel of 13 judges will make the decision with the announcement to be made at the Men of League Ball in grand final week.


The NRL extends laws relating to the shoulder charge to include incidental contact: "The shoulder charge offence [would] now include incidents where there is forceful contact from a shoulder charge between any part of the tacking player's body and the head/neck of the tackled player or where the shoulder charge results in the forceful movement of, or the impact to, the head or neck." 


South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt breaks the 81-year-old club try-scoring record of Benny Wearing as the Rabbitohs sink Penrith 18-2 at Sportingbet Stadium.


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

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