On this day, Nathan Fien's Kiwi selection sparks 'Grannygate', Jack Wighton savours Dally M glory and a youthful Aussie side claims the World Nines crown.
The mercurial Cliff Lyons was born on October 19, 1961. One of the most gifted ball-players of his generation, Lyons formed a legendary combination with Steve Menzies at Manly, laying on countless tries for the 'Beaver'.
Cliffy Lyons owned the Sevens
One of Queensland's favourite sons Dale Shearer signs with the South Queensland Crushers for their inaugural season in 1995. The former Manly, Brisbane and Gold Coast star would play 10 games for the Crushers in '95 before stints with Sydney City and North Queensland to round out his career.
Queensland axe long-serving State of Origin selectors Arthur Beetson, Les Geeves and Allan Smith. Coach Wayne Bennett, Des Morris and Gene Miles will form a three-man selection panel in 2001.
Penrith star Craig Gower declares himself no chance to tour with the Kangaroos because of the knee injury sustained in the Test against Papua New Guinea.
Former Australian front-rower Jim Morgan suffers a fatal heart attack while swimming at Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast.
The ARL launches a formal complaint over the selection of Mt Isa-born halfback Nathan Fien in the New Zealand squad for the second Tri-Nations game. ARL chief executive Geoff Carr demands to see the birth certificate of Fien’s New Zealand-born grandmother. The Kiwis comply and although there are irregularities, Carr says he is powerless to act. “Who are we to argue?” he says.
Former South Sydney coach Jason Taylor is appointed Sydney Roosters Toyota Cup coach for 2011.
Cronulla captain Paul Gallen re-signs with the club until the end of 2015, meaning he is likely to play out his career with the Sharks. The one-club stalwart would go on to play 348 games for Cronulla, retiring at the end of the 2019 season when the Sharks bowed out to Manly in the semis.
Penrith boss Phil Gould sensationally terminates the contract of coach Ivan Cleary, claiming it was time for a change. Former Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin is announced as Cleary’s successor within 48 hours (October 21).
The Brisbane Broncos emerge as the surprise new home for Benji Marshall after it is revealed that Marshall has been in negotiations with the club over a one-year deal. The 31-year-old signs for a figure reported to be “only slightly above” the game’s minimum wave on October 21.
Injury-plagued Jamal Idris announces his retirement from the game at the age of 27. A former Dally M rookie of the year, Idris played with Canterbury, Gold Coast, Penrith and Wests Tigers and played one Origin for NSW and one Test for Australia.
Australia claim victory in the final of the World Nines with a 24-10 win over New Zealand. The Kiwi Ferns take out the women’s competition with a 17-15 victory over the Jillaroos. The final day of action at Bankwest Stadium draws a crowd of 15,684.
Dally M Medal winner - Jack Wighton
Five-eighth Jack Wighton upsets hot favourite Nathan Cleary to become the first Canberra player in 25 years to claim the Dally M Medal. Wighton beats Parramatta fullback Clint Gutherson and Cleary to claim the top award. Penrith’s Ivan Cleary wins the Dally M Coach of the Year title; Wests Tigers hooker Harry Grant is named Dally M Rookie of the Year while Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw is named Dally M Female Player of the Year. The awards ceremony is held at Fox Sports studios in Sydney under strict COVID provisions.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.