On this day, brawling mars the World Cup final, Stacey Jones announces a comeback and Api Koroisau celebrates a birthday.
The World Cup final between Australia and Great Britain deteriorates into a wild brawl after Australian halfback Billy Smith and Great Britain’s Syd Hynes are sent off for fighting. In a vicious and infamous match, remembered as the “Battle of Leeds”, Australia win 12-7.
Channel Nine sign a $24 million contract for the league television rights over the next three years. The agreement gives Nine the right to cover almost every major match, with the exception of the Saturday afternoon “live” coverage.
Apisai Koroisau was born in Sydney. A dynamic hooker, he made his NRL debut in 2014 and played in the grand final win over Canterbury when Issac Luke was suspended. He switched to Penrith the following year before a stint with Manly from 2016-19 before opting to return to the Panthers. He was one of their star performers in their charge to the 2020 grand final and then got his hands on a second premiership ring in 2021.
Great Britain score their first series clean sweep over New Zealand for 23 years when they defeat the Kiwis 29-10 in the third Test at Leeds.
Police discover the body of former international Peter Jackson in a motel room at Engadine in Sydney. The much-loved 33-year-old died from an apparent drug overdose.
The Sydney Roosters release halfback Paul Green, freeing him to join Parramatta on a one-year deal. The Roosters lure Ivan Cleary and David Gillespie as assistant coaches for 2003.
Former international Paul McGregor joins the St George Illawarra coaching staff.
Legendary New Zealand halfback Stacey Jones announces he will make a comeback with the Warriors in 2009.
Stacey Jones - Hall of Fame
Australian centre Michael Jennings scores three tries on debut as the Kangaroos cruise to a 42-4 victory over France in Paris. Threequarters Brett and Josh Morris each score doubles as they become the first twins to play for Australia since Kevin and Kerrod Walters in 1991 while five-eighth Darren Lockyer overtakes Clive Churchill’s record as Australia’s most capped Test captain.
New Zealand level their three-game series with England at one win apiece after grafting their way to a 9-2 victory at London’s Olympic Stadium.
Cronulla grand final fullback Ben Barba is banned from the game for 12 weeks after returning a second positive test to cocaine. Barba is granted an immediate release from his contract with the Sharks in order to fly to a rehabilitation centre in Thailand.
England winger Tommy Makinson is awarded the prestigious Golden Boot award as the best international player of 2018. Previously awarded to the individual voted the best player in the world, the decision to hand the trophy to the relatively unknown St Helens winger attracts wide criticism.
Former Rooster and Wests Tigers player Ryan Matterson signs a two-year deal with Parramatta.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.