On this day, Rabbitohs realease Sam Burgess to rugby, NRL blocks Benji Marshall's rugby request, and Rhinos rock Sea Eagles in World Club Challenge.
Former Parramatta and Penrith utility back Andrew Fitzhenry announces his retirement from rugby league to concentrate on a grade cricket career with Balmain.
The NRL ban players from negotiating with English clubs for four months in an attempt to stave off an exodus of talent.
Kiwi international Matthew Ridge officially ends his controversial career by terminating his agreement with the Auckland Warriors.
Parramatta thrash Penrith 40-4 in the opening match of the 2001 season at Stadium Australia. The Sydney Roosters account for Wests Tigers 30-16 in the second match of the double-header, watched by a crowd of 54,883 at the Olympic venue.
South Sydney five-eighth Owen Craigie is stood down from the first-grade squad for being six kilograms overweight.
Penrith international Frank Pritchard is stabbed twice in the hand and his younger brother Tom stabbed in the heart in a violent street brawl in Sydney’s south-west.
NRL boss David Gallop controversially vetoes a plan by Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall to play an off-season stint with a Japanese rugby union club. "I can’t see how it would be in rugby league’s best interests to allow a star player to play for one of our competitors," Gallop said. Marshall’s management suggests that the NRL’s hard-line stance could force him to quit the NRL completely.
NRL premiers Manly fail to overcome heavy odds, falling 26-12 to Leeds in the World Club Challenge clash at Headingley.
Brisbane winger Dale Copley is ruled out for the season after rupturing his patella tendon in a trial against the Gold Coast.
Souths grant Sam Burgess a release from the final two years of his contract, allowing him to join English rugby union club Bath at the end of the 2014 NRL season and pursue an opportunity to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Rabbitohs are reportedly paid $1 million in compensation.
Simon Mannering stands down as Warriors’ captain after six seasons, citing a loss of enjoyment and form. Second-row partner Ryan Hoffman is appointed the club’s new captain.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.