August 10: Messenger makes the move and a Kangaroos tourist dies

On this day, Dally Messenger agrees to play rugby league, a Kangaroos tourist dies and a union convert seeks to return to the 15-a-side game.

1907

This is the approximate date that Dally Messenger agreed to play the new professional game in Australia. JJ Giltinan and Victor Trumper approached Messenger at his Double Bay home with Messenger leaving the final decision to his mother Annie.

1933

The fifth Kangaroos tour descends into sadness when University centre Ray Morris dies on an ear infection in Malta. Morris, who played for Western Suburbs prior to joining University, never wore the green and gold.

1961

Great Britain international and Illawarra Steelers player Andy Gregory is born. As well as spending most of his career playing for Widnes, Warrington and Wigan, Gregory played a major role in the Steelers' run to the 1989 Panasonic Cup final. He played 26 Tests for Great Britain. 

1965

Gifted lock Ian Russell is born. After playing 127 matches for the Illawarra Steelers and one for NSW Country (1991), Russell went on to play for Sheffield Eagles, North Queensland Cowboys, Paris St Germain and Oldham. 

1995  

Crushers prop Garrick Morgan applies for reinstatement to rugby union following an unsuccessful attempt to switch codes. Morgan played just two matches for South Queensland, both of which ended in losses. 

Eels and Bulldogs fans in 2001.
Eels and Bulldogs fans in 2001. ©NRL Photos

2001

In what was reported as the first premiership match in Sydney to be a pre-match sell-out, Parramatta scored a 24-16 win over the Bulldogs. Scott Donald, Nathan Hindmarsh and David Vaealiki scored the tries for the Eels. 

 

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