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February 7: Stanton the master mentor; Hanley returns

On this day in rugby league history, a seventh NSWRL club comes into being, a Kangaroos coach is born and an England great returns to the Tigers.


A meeting is held at the North Sydney School of Arts, where the seventh district club of the NSWRL – North Sydney – is formed.


Former Australia and NSW coach Frank Stanton is born. Prior to a coaching career that included 26 Tests matches, 11 games in charge of NSW and 344 club games for Manly, Balmain and North Sydney, Stanton played 129 games for Manly between 1961-69 and two for NSW in 1963.          


The Rugby League Express train begins its second journey across New South Wales. The displays of league memorabilia are lapped up by an estimated 300,000 fans. 


The game's biggest international push begins at the Sydney Football Stadium with the staging of the Nissan World Sevens. International teams include Russia, USA, Fiji and Oceania.

Former Great Britain captain Ellery Hanley playing for Balmain.
Former Great Britain captain Ellery Hanley playing for Balmain. ©NRL Photos


English great Ellery Hanley signs with the Sydney Tigers. Hanley had also previously played for Balmain and Western Suburbs in Australia as well as Bradford, Wigan and Leeds.


The Melbourne Storm achieve first-up success with a 26-22 victory over Adelaide in a trial match in Hobart. 


Brisbane players Brad Thorn, Tonie Carroll, Dane Carlaw, Casey McGuire and Corey Parker are omitted from a preliminary Queensland State of Origin squad. Greg Inglis is among the newcomers to the squad.

Former Brisbane and Queensland forward Tonie Carroll.
Former Brisbane and Queensland forward Tonie Carroll. ©NRL Photos


Canberra coach Neil Henry admits there is no outstanding candidate for the club’s captaincy, following the departure of so much experienced talent in the off-season. The captaincy eventually goes to Alan Tongue, who is named the Dally M Captain of the Year and Lock of the Year the following season.


Wests Tigers announced the signing of Great Britain international Gareth Ellis for three seasons from 2009. Star five-eighth Benji Marshall re-signs for a further season.


Sam Burgess scores a try in his first game for the Rabbitohs – a 42-12 trial win over Manly at Redfern Oval.


The NRL and other major Australian sporting codes are plunged into turmoil after a 12-month investigation by the Australian Crime Commission reveals widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs and match-fixing, involving organised criminal gangs. Former boss of the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASADA) Richard Ings describes the release of the reports findings as: "The blackest day in Australian sport." 


Country Rugby League chairman Jock Colley dies in Sydney after suffering a stroke.

Auckland Nines GF: Warriors v Eels


Parramatta take out the club's first silverware in 13 years when they cruise to a 22-4 victory the Warriors in the final of the Auckland Nines at Eden Park. Eels skipper Corey Norman is named player of the tournament.


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

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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