On this day, Renouf stars on debut for Wigan, rugby league backer Kerry Packer dies and Alan Tongue is rewarded for his community work.
Craig Wing was born in Sydney. A versatile player who spent most of his career in the halves or at hooker, his utility value helped him rise to the representative ranks, often used as a bench player for NSW and Australia in his 12 Origins and 16 Tests from 2002-09.
He started his career with two seasons at Souths but switched to the Roosters after the Rabbitohs were expelled from the competition at the end of 1999. Wing was a key member of the Roosters' grand final sides in 2000, 02-04, starting at halfback in the premiership-winning squad of 2002.
Wing returned to the Rabbits in 2008 for two more seasons before finishing his career playing rugby union in Japan.
Former Rabbitohs forward Jeremy Schloss agrees to terms with the North Queensland Cowboys.
Former Test centre Steve Renouf scores a try on debut for Wigan in the Boxing Day challenge match against St Helens.
Media mogul Kerry Packer dies at his Sydney home, aged 68. A central figure in the ARL-Super League conflict (1995-97), Packer once said: “I reckon rugby league and cricket as far as I'm concerned are the two great sports in Australia.”
Former Wests Tigers second-rower Mark O’Neill plays only five minutes of his debut game for Leeds before suffering a serious shoulder injury.
Former Parramatta prop Justin Poore is sent from the field in his first game for English club Wakefield, a Boxing Day friendly against Leeds.
Former Canberra Raiders captain Alan Tongue is named the ACT Australian of the Year for his work mentoring juvenile offenders and combating family and domestic violence.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.