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Former Bronco Wendell Sailor.

On this day, Big Dell switches codes, Garlick takes Roosters reins and a powerhouse Tiger is forced into retirement.


In one of the most significant showdowns in the game’s modern history, the 20 Winfield Cup clubs unanimously reject News Limited’s proposal for a Super League in 1996. The intervention of media magnate Kerry Packer changes the course of the meeting.


Sean Garlick is named the surprise choice as Sydney City captain ahead of Test skipper Brad Fittler.

Former Rooster Sean Garlick.
Former Rooster Sean Garlick.


Manly and Sydney City officials rubbish speculation linking them to Super League and guarantee the Australian Rugby League they have no interest in the rebel competition.


Joint venture clubs Northern Eagles and Wests Tigers enjoy success in their inaugural premiership matches. The Eagles down Newcastle 24-14 before a capacity crowd at NorthPower Stadium, while the Tigers hold Brisbane to a 24-all draw at Campbelltown.


Wendell Sailor announces he will switch codes after accepting a massive offer to transfer to the Australian Rugby Union.

Monty Betham played 101 games for the Warriors between 1999-2005.
Monty Betham played 101 games for the Warriors between 1999-2005.


Hooker Monty Betham is named captain of the Warriors for 2002.


Complications from a serious ankle fracture forces Wests Tigers winger and Kiwi international Taniela Tuiaki to retire from the game at the age of 28. A devastating finisher, Tuiaki scored 42 tries in 78 games for the Tigers between 2006-09. Tigers officials prepare to throw a lifeline to former Canterbury and Kiwi winger Matt Utai, who is looking to resurrect his NRL career after a season playing in the Bulldogs’ juniors.

Taniela Tuiaki - the devastating finisher


Melbourne Storm, Manly and Cronulla remain undefeated after the opening day of the Auckland Nines at Eden Park, while Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and St George Illawarra lose both of their opening pool games. The Sea Eagles lose Jamie Buhrer (broken jaw), Jake Trbojevic (concussion), Nathan Green (concussion) and Jorge Taufua (hamstring) to injury.


The ARL Commission makes the decision to scrap the national anthem before the All Stars game on February 22 after the NRL’s indigenous advisory council and senior indigenous players had expressed opposition to the national song.


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

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