Iconic commentator Ray Warren, pioneering administrator James Joseph Giltinan and revered journalist Peter Frilingos are the first contributors to join the NRL Hall of Fame.
The trio will be formally inducted into the prestigious club alongside former players Danny Buderus, Craig Young, Ruben Wiki and Stacey Jones during a ceremony at Carriageworks in Sydney on Wednesday evening.
Warren, the only living Hall of Fame contributor, began calling the game with the Young radio station 2LF in 1966. He rose to prominence at Channel Ten in the '70s before moving to Channel Nine in 1988.
Dubbed "the voice of rugby league", Warren has added to footy's theatre like no other; his dulcet tones the soundtrack of many unforgettable moments over an illustrious career.
"Rabbits" was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2014 for his outstanding contributions to broadcast media. Now in his 53rd season at age 76, Warren continues to lead Nine's call team with aplomb.
Giltinan, regarded as the engineer of the NSWRL's establishment in 1907, was the organisation's first secretary and attended the foundation meetings of the original clubs.
Craig Young - Hall of Fame
He helped establish interstate league by liaising with Brisbane administrators and spearheaded the first Kangaroos tour to England in 1908-09.
Giltinan died in 1950 and was posthumously honoured with the JJ Giltinan Shield, presented to the premiers from 1951 to 1997. It's now the prize for the NRL minor premiership.
Frilingos was one of the most influential league journalists, breaking news and spinning yarns across print, television and radio.
Starting as a cadet with the Daily Mirror in 1962, "Chippy" became the outlet's deputy sports editor and eventually chief rugby league writer in 1980. He continued in the esteemed position when the Mirror merged with The Daily Telegraph a decade later.
Danny Buderus - Hall of Fame
Frilingos covered 40 consecutive grand finals (1964 to 2003), four Kangaroo tours to Great Britain and France, six tours to New Zealand and three World Cups.
After his tragic death from a heart attack in 2004, Frilingos was tributed with the naming of the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment Award - presented at the Dally M Medal - and the Peter Frilingos Media Centre at the new Bankwest Stadium.
The three contributors were selected by a panel of NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, Bob Fulton, Mal Meninga, Paul Kent, Katie Page, Geoff Armstrong and John Lang.
"This is a very special induction – the first members of the class who are contributors," Greenberg said.
"That speaks for the calibre of not only the nominations but obviously those who were chosen. They will always be the first of our contributors to be inducted.
"Without them, the game would look, feel and sound very different. Each of them had extraordinary influence on the game."
Ruben Wiki - Hall of Fame
Born: June 11, 1943, Junee, NSW
Television commentator and media personality
- Began career as a rugby league commentator with 2LF Young in 1966
- Moved to Sydney in 1971 gaining experience as a radio commentator with 2GB
- Became widely known for his calls of the midweek Amco Cup competition on Channel 10 from 1974
- Joined Channel Nine in 1988 and became part of the network's State of Origin commentary team from 1989
- Head commentator for Nine since it acquired the free-to-air premiership broadcasting rights in 1992
- Known as "the Voice of Rugby League"
- Honoured with an Order of Australia Medal and inducted into the Sydney Cricket Ground Media Hall of Honour
Born: August 30, 1866, Sydney, NSW
Died: September 6, 1950, Ashfield, NSW
Founder and administrator
- Considered the driving force behind the establishment of the NSWRL in 1907
- Invited Baskerville's "All Golds" team to play series of matches against the NSW Pioneers who had been convinced to break away from rugby union
- As the first secretary of the NSWRL, he attended the foundation meeting of every original club
- Liaised with administrators in Brisbane to establish interstate rugby league
- Organised and underwrote the first Kangaroo tour of England in 1908-09
- Deposed as NSWRL secretary in 1909 but continued involvement as president of Annandale club
- Honoured posthumously with the JJ Giltinan Shield, awarded to the premiership winners from 1951 to 1997, when it became the prize for the minor premiership
Stacey Jones - Hall of Fame
Born: August 18, 1944, Sydney, NSW
Died: May 3, 2004, Surry Hills, NSW
Journalist and media personality
- Commenced journalistic career as cadet with the Daily Mirror in 1962 and joined the paper's sporting staff in 1964
- Covered every grand final from 1964 to 2003, four Kangaroo tours of Great Britain and France, six tours to New Zealand and three World Cups
- Served as deputy sports editor for the Daily Mirror before becoming chief rugby league writer in 1980
- A panellist on rugby league programs on Channel 9 (1978-80) and Channel 10 (1981-82) and with Fox Sports on their Back Page program (1997-2004)
- Popular member of Radio 2UE's Continuous Call team from 1987 to 2004
- Described as "one of the most influential league journalists in the game and was an enormous presence on radio, pay TV and in the News Ltd papers"
- Honoured with the naming of the Peter Frilingos Headline Moment Award at the annual Dally M presentation and with the Peter Frilingos Media Centre at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium