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January 14: Birth of the Bluebags; Widdop becomes Dragons skipper

On this day, the Newtown club was formed, Bulldogs switch from Belmore to Olympic stadium and Gareth Widdop becomes St George Illawarra skipper. 

1908   

Newtown follows the lead of Glebe to become the second club side formed. Strong efforts had been made by local rugby administrators to prevent players from switching codes, but one by one, they made the jump. The Newtown rugby union club ceased to exist in 1912.

The Bluebags, who later became the Jets, won the premiership in 1910, 1933 and 1943 but were expelled at the end of the 1983 season, two years after they made their last grand final appearance.

1982

Braith Anasta was born. A talented five-eighth, he came through the junior ranks at South Sydney but switched to Canterbury where he made his NRL debut in 2000. He was a key member of the 2004 premiership-winning squad before joining the Roosters three years later. After captaining the team during his seven-year stint, which included the 2010 grand final loss to St George Illawarra, he finished his career with two seasons at the Wests Tigers.

Anasta played four Tests for Australia, plus another for Greece in 2013, as well as 10 Origins for NSW. 

1994   

Easts chief executive Brian Anderson quits after less than 12 months with the club.

1995

Alex Johnston was born. A speedy outside back, he made his debut for Souths in 2014 and played on the wing for the Rabbitohs in their grand final win that year over Canterbury. A prolific try scorer he joined the 100 Club in 2020 when he bagged 23 four-pointers for the season to take his career tally to 106 tries.

Alex Johnston enjoyed a magnificent season in 2020.
Alex Johnston enjoyed a magnificent season in 2020.

1999   

Canterbury announce a two-year deal to play their home matches at the 110,000 capacity Stadium Australia. Chief executive Bob Hagan says the move was designed specifically to ensure the future of the club.

2001   

South Sydney chairman George Piggins says there is no chance of a Souths-St George Illawarra Charity Shield match being staged again.

“The Dragons: They sold us out,” Piggins said, referring to a sworn affidavit by the club saying it would be detrimental if Souths were returned to the competition.

2004   

Parramatta slam an NRL decision to ban second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh from the World Sevens because of a one-match suspension carrying over from the 2003 season. Despite the ban, the Sevens tournament would not count towards the suspension.

2016   

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor announces Gareth Widdop will captain the Dragons in 2016, replacing Ben Creagh, who led the club for three seasons (2013-15). Creagh will remain as club captain.

 

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