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January 23: Farah, Balmain and two great captains

On this day the Balmain Tigers (and a Tigers great) were born, the Broncos took charge in London and two grand final-winning superstars became captains.


Around 600 people attended a "rowdy" meeting at the Balmain Town Hall and local players Robert Hutcheson and Robert Graves move "that the Balmain District Rugby League Football Club be now formed". The motion was carried enthusiastically. Balmain would go on to win 11 NSWRL premierships before merging with Western Suburbs in 1999.


Wests Tigers great Robbie Farah was born. Farah made his debut for the Tigers in 2003 and played 17 seasons in the NRL, including a stint at South Sydney in 2017 and 2018. He played 16 State of Origin matches for NSW and eight Tests for Australia, and also represented Lebanon seven times. A two-time Dally M Hooker of the Year and the 2012 Brad Fittler Medal winner as NSW's best, Farah was a key part of the Tigers' 2005 premiership-winning season and retired as a Tiger at the end of the 2019 campaign.  


The Brisbane Broncos’ historic takeover of Super League outfit the London Crusaders became official, with the club becoming known as the London Broncos.

Former Knights star Andrew Johns.
Former Knights star Andrew Johns. ©NRL Photos


Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns was officially named captain of the Knights. He would go on to lead the club to their second premiership in the 2001 grand final.


The Sydney Roosters appointed Boyd Cordner as co-captain of the club in 2017 with Jake Friend. Cordner helped lead the Roosters to premierships in 2018 and 2019.


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

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