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February 24: Sheens replaces Stuart; Sharks face Panthers for first time

On this day, Panthers and Sharks kick off against each other, Tim Sheens replaces Ricky Stuart as Kangaroos coach and the league community mourns the passing of Don Furner senior.


New clubs Penrith and Cronulla meet in the first game of the Wills pre-season competition. Penrith win 18-12, but the real interest in the match centres on the experimentation of a four-tackle rule.


Bulldogs captain Terry Lamb is sent off in his team’s 12-6 Tooheys Challenge semi-final loss to Cronulla. Lamb is later fined $2500 for abusing referee Stephen Clark.


Australia’s Nines team is beaten by New Zealand in a semi-final in Suva. The Australian Nines team sends a fax to Super League hierarchy, pledging their continued support.


South Sydney save the career of disgraced fullback Julian O’Neill but insist he must address his alcohol problems before he returns to the playing field. The talented former Broncos and Reds player had already been shown the door by his two previous clubs.

Julian O'Neill during his stint with Souths.
Julian O'Neill during his stint with Souths. ©NRL Photos


Parramatta prop Michael Vella reveals that he has been battling thyroid cancer. He was expected to miss at least two months of the premiership.


Tim Sheens is appointed coach of the Australian team, replacing Ricky Stuart, who stood down in a blaze of controversy after Australia’s World Cup loss to New Zealand.


The NRL comes to the rescue of the embattled Gold Coast Titans who enter administration in the face of spiralling debts. With no major sponsor, exorbitant rental fees at Cbus Super Stadium and no training headquarters, the Titans may have been forced to wind up operations without the NRL’s intervention. 

The club’s investors lose an estimated $8 million. NRL boss Dave Smith insists the game on the Gold Coast is not doomed, despite the dire financial situation and the cocaine scandal that had inflicted untold damage on the club’s image. 


Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett appoints Corey Parker as team captain for 2016.


Greg Inglis makes a 20-minute comeback from ACL surgery in the Rabbitohs’ 22-18 Charity Shield defeat of St George Illawarra in Mudgee.

Former Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis.
Former Rabbitohs star Greg Inglis. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos


Tributes flow for foundation Canberra Raiders coach Don Furner, who passes away at the age of 87. A former Australian representative, Furner coached the Kangaroos to an undefeated tour of Great Britain and France in 1986.


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

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