South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league team based in Redfern, a suburb of inner-southern Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital, they are called Souths and The Bunnies. The club was formed in 1908 as one of the founding members of the New South Wales Rugby Football League, making them one of Australia's oldest rugby league teams; the Rabbitohs were formed, under their original 1908 articles of association with the NSWRL competition, to represent the Sydney municipalities of Redfern, Zetland, Waterloo and Botany. They are one of only two foundation clubs still present in the NRL, the other being the Sydney Roosters; the South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club is a subsidiary company 75% owned by Blackcourt League Investments which is, in turn, 50% owned by the actor Russell Crowe and 50% owned by James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings. The Rabbitohs' traditional heartland covers the once working-class suburbs of inner-south Sydney now occupied by factories.
The club is based in Redfern, where the club's administration and training facilities are located, however they have long held a wide supporter base spread all over New South Wales. The team's home ground is Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park. In the New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League, National Rugby League competitions South Sydney are the most successful professional team in the history of Australian rugby league in terms of total championships won, having claimed 21 first grade premierships. In addition to winning the most premierships, the Rabbitohs hold the distinction of being the only club to win a premiership in their inaugural season; the South Sydney District Rugby League Football Club was formed at a meeting on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall when administrator J J Giltinan, cricketer Victor Trumper and politician Henry Hoyle gathered together in front of a large crowd of supporters. The club played in the first round of the newly formed New South Wales Rugby League, defeating North Sydney 11–7 at Birchgrove Oval on 20 April 1908.
The team went on to win the inaugural premiership successfully defended their title in the 1909 season, winning the Grand Final by default. During these early years Arthur Hennessy was considered the "founding father" of the South Sydney rugby league club. A hooker and prop forward, Hennessy was coach, he was New South Wales' first captain and Australia's first test captain in 1908. S. G. "George" Ball became Club Secretary in 1911 after Arthur Hennessy stood down from the position, he remained in that capacity for over fifty years, only retiring a few years before his death in 1969. After further premiership success in 1914 and 1918, South Sydney won seven of the eight premierships from 1925–1932, only missing out in 1930; the 1925 side went through the season undefeated and is only one of six Australian premiership sides in history to have achieved this feat. Such was Souths dominance in the early years of the rugby league competition that the Rabbitohs were labelled "The Pride of the League".
South Sydney struggled through most of the 1940s. South Sydney's longest losing streak of 22 games was during the period 1945–1947. In the 1945 season they only managed to win one game while in 1946 they were unable to win a single game. In the 1950s South Sydney again had great success, winning five of the six premierships from 1950–1955, losing the 1952 Grand Final against Western Suburbs in controversial circumstances; the 1951 side's point scoring feat in their 42–14 victory over Manly-Warringah remains the highest score by a team in a Grand Final and "the miracle of'55" involved South Sydney winning 11 straight sudden death matches to win the premiership. Players that were involved in these years included Denis Donoghue, Jack Rayner, Les "Chicka" Cowie, Johnny Graves, Ian Moir, Greg Hawick, Ernie Hammerton, Bernie Purcell and Clive Churchill. Churchill, nicknamed "the Little Master" for his brilliant attacking fullback play, is universally regarded as one of the greatest Australian rugby league players.
In the late 1950s Souths began a poor run of form failing to make the finals from 1958–1964. However, in 1965 a talented young side made the Grand Final against St. George who were aiming to secure their 10th straight premiership; the young Rabbitohs weren't overawed by the Dragons formidable experience and in front of a record crowd of 78,056 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, they went down narrowly 12–8. The nucleus of this side went on to feature in Australian representative teams for the next six years and ensured another golden period for South Sydney making five successive grand finals from 1967–1971, winning four. Bob McCarthy, John O'Neill, Eric Simms, Ron Coote, Mike Cleary and John Sattler from 1965 were joined by Elwyn Walters, Ray Branighan, Paul Sait, Gary Stevens and coach Clive Churchill to form a fearsome combination before internal strife and poaching by other clubs from 1972 onwards unravelled the star studded pack. From this period comes part of South's and Australian Rugby League folklore when in the 1970 premiership decider against Manly, captain John Sattler inspired the side to victory playing out 70 minutes of the match with his jaw broken in three places after being king hit by Manly prop John Bucknall.
Financial problems started to hit Souths in the early 1970s, forcing some players to go to other clubs. The licensed Leagues Club, traditionally such an important revenue provider to all first grade league s
Benjamin Quentin "Benji" Marshall is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays as a five-eighth or halfback for the Wests Tigers in the NRL. He played for the St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos. Marshall was briefly a professional rugby union player with the Blues of Super Rugby. Marshall played for ten seasons in the National Rugby League for Sydney club Wests Tigers, with whom he won the 2005 NRL Premiership, he has been noted including sidesteps, no-look passes and flick-passes. In 2010 Marshall won the Golden Boot Award for the best international player. Marshall was raised without his biological father, but has spoken of the influence of his foster-father Michael Doherty, other men within his extended family, he has said he had, "10 or 11 fathers …, not a bad thing." He was a pupil at Whakatane High School. The eldest of three brothers, he was offered a scholarship to play for a high school in Gold Coast, Queensland when he was 16. While attending Keebra Park State High School, Marshall played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 2003, represented Australia in touch football that same year.
Although eligible to represent Australia, Marshall declared his allegiance to the New Zealand Kiwis early in his career. In Round 20 of the 2003 NRL season, Marshall made his NRL début for the Wests Tigers against the Newcastle Knights, coming on as a replacement in the 14th minute as fullback; the Wests Tigers won the match 52-12 at Campbelltown Stadium. Marshall continued to make appearances for Wests Tigers for the remainder of 2003 when his studies allowed, playing halfback. In Round 24 against the Penrith Panthers, Marshall scored his first NRL try in the Tigers 44-28 loss at Penrith Stadium, he scored. Marshall starred in the pre-season World Sevens competition helping the Wests Tigers to win the tournament, he began the season playing at centre until he dislocated his shoulder in Round 4 against the North Queensland Cowboys. During his time off the Tigers struggled in attack; when he returned after four weeks, he was moved to the play-making position of five-eighth. From there, Marshall set the club on a record 3 match winning streak.
He dislocated the same shoulder four weeks into his return in Round 13. Marshall's season ended. In 2005, Marshall injured his other shoulder in the opening minutes of the first trial match. After missing the opening round match, Marshall played five-eighth for the club's second match of the year against defending premiers, the Bulldogs. With an injury free run, Marshall demonstrated a passing and kicking game to complement his stepping, he was able to set up tries for his team-mates. Marshall made his New Zealand debut in the 2005 ANZAC Test. Marshall was a member of the Wests Tigers that defeated North Queensland Cowboys in the 2005 NRL grand final, where he famously set up a 90-metre try to Pat Richards, considered to be one of the best tries of grand final history; the try involved a trademark'flick pass', at about the 50-metre line to Richards. Marshall was named as New Zealand five-eighth for the 2005 Tri Nations tour. However, surgery on his weak shoulder in the off-season ruled him out and he missed the 2006 World Club Challenge.
Marshall made his comeback from surgery against St George Illawarra in round 1, but broke his cheek bone. He set up the winning try. Making his comeback against the Cowboys, Marshall set up many tries with a mixture of stepping and perceptiveness. In the 79th minute he was injured by Cowboy's prop Carl Webb, he recovered in three weeks, playing for New Zealand in the ANZAC test. With another injury-free run he began producing dominating performances for the Tigers but eight weeks into his come-back he dislocated the same shoulder, dislocated against North Queensland, he missed the rest of the season. In 2007, Marshall again made his comeback from injury against the Melbourne Storm in Round 1. Marshall had to adapt to changes within the team such as the departure of halfback, Scott Prince, the added responsibility of goal kicking while fullback, Brett Hodgson, was recovering from a knee injury; the Daily Telegraph said, "Marshall had to become something else, he had to become an organiser, a dictator, a tactician.
This never came to him but he made himself into that type of player because he had to do it."Marshall was selected to play for New Zealand at five-eighth in the 2007 ANZAC test, kicking one goal in the 6–30 loss. In round 8, Marshall sustained a fractured shoulder in a tackle where his arm was jammed between Melbourne's Israel Folau and the Tigers' Taniela Tuiaki, didn't return until round 20. Following the season, he missed the Centenary Trans-Tasman Test due to injury and missed the Kiwis' Tour of Great Britain and France. In 2008 Marshall's injury troubles continued when he suffered a knee ligament tear in the third minute of the season's opening game, he returned in round 7. Halfway through 2008, coach Tim Sheens' announced his plan to move Marshall to the halfback position during the 2009 season, going as far as encouraging New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney to play Marshall in this role during the 2008 World Cup; the suggestion was declined. "Benji equals anybody I've seen in terms of flair, making something happen.
He is a remarkable talent, born out of living on the edge. That's the way, he was made to be a footballer." -Wayne Bennett Marshall was named in the 24-man Kiwis squad for the World Cup. He captained New Zealand for the first time on 8 November, against England. Marshall scored a try and
Ben Galea is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer. A City New South Wales representative forward, he played in Australasia's National Rugby League for the Balmain Tigers and the Wests Tigers and for English club the Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull F. C. of Super League. Galea was born in Parramatta, New South Wales, is of Maltese descent. While attending Marayong John Paul II, he played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1996. After Struggling to make an impact in the lower grades at the Parramatta Eels, Galea signed with the newly merged Wests Tigers. In 2000 Galea in made a handful of NRL appearances for the Tigers from the bench. In 2001, Galea became a regular member of the Tigers' team, he was named the club's player of the year. After missing the first 2 games of the season, he played in every other game. In 2003, Galea played 14 games. Galea played at second-row forward in the 2005 NRL grand final victory over the North Queensland Cowboys; as NRL Premiers Wests travelled to England to play against Super League champions Bradford Bulls in the 2006 World Club Challenge.
Galea played at lock forward in the Tigers' 30-10 loss. When Galea moved from the Wests Tigers at the end of the 2007 NRL season, he was the joint venture's second most capped player with 150 games, second highest try scorer, with 32 tries. In 2017, Galea was made a Wests Tiger Life Member. From 2008 to 2012 Galea played in the Super League for Hull Kingston Rovers. On 13 September 2012, Galea confirmed that he had reversed his decision to retire in order to sign a one-year deal for former West Tigers assistant Peter Gentle at Hull FC. Junior Club: Penrith and Blacktown Workers First Grade Debut: 1999 - Round 14, Balmain v Western Suburbs Magpies at Campbelltown Stadium, 6 June Premierships: Member of Wests Tigers 2005 Premiership team As of the 2014 NRL season, Galea works as a video referee in the Australian competition. Hull KR profile Ben Galea Official Player Profile Ben Galea at Superleague.co.uk
Anthony Laffranchi is a former professional rugby league footballer. An Australia and Italy international, New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he played in the National Rugby League for the Wests Tigers and the Gold Coast Titans, for Super League club St. Helens. Laffranchi was born in Australia, he played early football for the Murwillumbah Colts. He was eligible to represent the Italy national rugby league team. Laffranchi played at prop forward in the Tigers' 2005 NRL Grand Final victory over the North Queensland Cowboys; as NRL Premiers Wests faced Super League champions Bradford Bulls in the 2006 World Club Challenge. Laffranchi played at second-row forward in the Tigers' 30-10 loss. At the end of the Titans' first season Laffranchi was named co-winner of the club's inaugural Paul Broughton Medal for best and fairest player of the season with teammate Luke Bailey. After further solid performance in 2008, he was selected to play for the City vs Country Origin game, representing Country, in which he was awarded Man of the Match.
Laffranchi was named as the 18th man for the Australians for the Centenary Rugby League Test against New Zealand in 2008. Laffranchi was selected for New South Wales in game I of the 2008 State of origin series. Laffranchi started from the bench and scored the winning try off a Mark Gasnier line break and lead the tackle count for the Blues. In August 2008, Laffranchi was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, in October 2008 he was selected in the final 24-man Australia squad. Laffranchi made his test début against New Zealand in Australia's opening RLWC 08 game on 26 October playing in the Second-row, he followed this up with a two try effort in Australia's second match of the World Cup. He was selected for Australia in the one-off test match against New Zealand on 8 May 2009, he was an Italian international. Laffranchi signed a two-year deal with St. Helens starting in 2012. Laffranchi commenced his Super League career in the 2012 season with St. Helens.
He played for the Exiles in the International Origin and represented Italy in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Junior Club: Murwillumbah Colts First Grade Debut: Round 26, Wests Tigers v Sharks at Leichhardt Oval, 2 September 2001 First Grade Record: 116 appearances scoring 22 tries First Grade Clubs: 102 appearances for Wests Tigers 2001–2006, 30 appearances for Gold Coast Titans 2007, 2008 Representative Teams: NSW Blues, 2008, City Country Match 2006 Saints Heritage Society profile Gold Coast Titans profile Gold Coast profile Anthony Laffranchi NRL Profile
Daniel Fitzhenry is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s. He played for the Wests Tigers in the Hull Kingston Rovers in the Super League, he played on the wing. Daniel Fitzhenry played Jersey Flegg for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and had spent a period playing with Limoux Rugby League in France before being injured in a car accident. After coming through the joint venture Wests Tigers' ranks with the Western Suburbs Magpies, Fitzhenry made his début in the National Rugby League playing at centre in Round 14 of the 2002 NRL season against the Penrith Panthers at Leichhardt Oval. Fitzhenry played at fullback for several games in 2002, his versatility has seen him play off the bench, as hooker and once as halfback. Injuries to the club's first choice player Benji Marshall saw Daniel used as a makeshift 5/8th at times. Fitzhenry was a member of Wests Tigers team that won the 2005 NRL Grand Final, defeating the North Queensland Cowboys 30-16, he scored a try in the 63rd minute to give Wests a 12-point lead.
He scored a try in the 2006 World Club Challenge which the Tigers lost to Bradford. Fitzhenry held the record for the most tries scored by a player at the Wests Tigers, with 43, before being surpassed by Benji Marshall in 2010. In 2010, Fitzhenry returned to the Wests Tigers after two seasons playing with Hull Kingston Rovers, he played in 18 games during the season, but was named as a reserve back, getting little time on the field. At the end of the season, Fitzhenry retired from the NRL, signing a two-year contract to captain-coach Southcity in the Group 9 competition, he won a premiership in his first season with the club. Junior Club: Dorrigo & Nambucca Heads First Grade Debut: Round 14, Wests Tigers v Penrith at Leichhardt Oval, 15 June 2002 Career Highlight: Wests Tigers Leading Tryscorer. "Fitzy reaches 100 games for Wests Tigers". Wests Tigers. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-01
Robert Peter Farah is a Lebanese Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a hooker or halfback for the Wests Tigers in the NRL. He has played representative football for New South Wales and Lebanon, he has played the majority of his professional career with the Wests Tigers, with whom he won the 2005 NRL Premiership. Between 2006 and 2012, Farah played for City in six City vs Country representative games, captaining the team from 2009 onwards. Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Farah is of Lebanese descent and was educated at St Mel's Primary, Campsie, De La Salle College Ashfield, the University of Sydney, graduating with a Bachelor of Economics in 2010. Farah is a supporter of Liverpool F. C. in English football's his favourite player being Steven Gerrard. A junior with Enfield Federals and Leichhardt Wanderers, as an 18-year-old in 2002, he toured with the Lebanese team, playing France in Tripoli and scoring a try. In round 13, Farah made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Leichhardt Oval, playing off the interchange bench in the Tigers 30-38 loss.
Farah played in 4 matches in his debut year. Farah's season was marred by a knee re-construction and his first-grade playing time was restricted to 3 matches for 2004. With Wests Tigers hookers Robbie Mears and Darren Senter both retiring at the end of the 2004 season, Farah was the club's main hooker for 2005. Early in the year he would start on the bench and interchange with Ben Galea, but by the end of the year he was described as having replaced, "captain Darren Senter at hooker with relative ease." In round 7, against the Parramatta Eels, Farah scored his first and second NRL career tries in the Tigers 16-26 loss at Parramatta Stadium. In round 20, against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, he scored a hatrick in the Tigers 42-20 win at Leichhardt Oval. Farah was the starting hooker in the Wests Tigers 30-16 2005 NRL grand final winning team over the North Queensland Cowboys, he finished the season with 8 tries. As NRL Premiers, Wests faced Super League champions the Bradford Bulls in the 2006 World Club Challenge.
Farah played at hooker in the Tigers 10-30 loss. Farah was selected for the NSW City Origin squad, playing in City's 10-12 loss to NSW Country Origin in Dubbo. Farah was named the Wests Tigers player of the year in the 2006 NRL season, playing in 20 matches and scoring 5 tries. In September, Farah was selected in the Prime Minister's XIII squad. Soon after, he re-signed with the Tigers on a contract to the end of the 2010 season. In May, Farah played for the NSW City team again, he was named hooker of the year at the 2007 Dally M Awards, was one point behind the Player of the Year, Johnathan Thurston. Some pundits claimed. Farah was again named the Wests Tigers player of the year, playing in all the Tigers 24 matches, scoring 7 tries, kicking 12 goals and 4 field goals. In August, Farah was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 World Cup, he was not selected in the final 24-man squad. Farah finished the 2008 NRL season with 6 tries. On 13 January, it was announced that Farah had chosen to re-sign with the Wests Tigers until the end of the 2013 season, spurning a lucrative offer from the Gold Coast Titans.
At the same time, the club appointed Farah as team captain. In May, Farah captained NSW City to a 40-18 win over NSW Country. Farah was subsequently named at hooker in the 17-man squad to represent New South Wales in the opening State of Origin match on 3 June 2009, in Melbourne, he played in the first two games of the series, but his performances were described as, "underwhelming." Farah finished the 2009 NRL season with him playing in 21 matches, scoring 8 tries and kicking 4 field goals. That year he was named in the Prime Minister's XIII to play Papua New Guinea. and Australia's Four-Nations squad. Farah played in two matches for Australia in the 2009 Four Nations, he made his international debut from the bench in the match against England, relieving starting hooker Cameron Smith just before halftime. A week he played in the starting line-up in the team that beat France 42–4. On 13 February, Farah played off the interchange bench for the NRL All Stars team against the Indigenous All Stars team in the inaugural match at Cbus Super Stadium.
He again captained the NSW City team. At the 2010 Dally M Awards Farah came second behind Todd Carney by a point, was named Hooker of the Year, he played in all of the Tigers 27 matches for the year, kicking 4 field goals. Farah was named in the Australian squad for the 2010 Four Nations. With first-choice hooker Cameron Smith playing in all matches, Farah made just one appearance, coming off the bench in the "dead rubber" match against New Zealand. Farah played in all 27 matches for the year, kicking 3 field goals. Farah was again named as second-string hooker in the 2011 Four Nations, but withdrew from the tournament for family reasons before he could make an appearance. Farah returned to State of Origin football in 2012. In the weeks leading up to the team selection, Farah was contacted by New South Wales coach Ricky Stuart, to explain that his first choice for hooker would be Danny Buderus, who had returned to the NRL. Furthermore, assistant coach Steve Roach declared Farah was not, "an Origin type player."
After an injury to Buderus, a man-of-the-match performance in the City vs Country Origin match, Farah was named at hooker for the first match of the series. Despite playing for the losing team, Farah was described as, "one of the Blues' most creative and effective players." New South Wales won the second match of the series, Farah was named as the player's player. During the
Bronson Harrison is a New Zealand former professional rugby league footballer who played as a second-row forward in the 2000s and 2010s. He played for the Wests Tigers, Canberra Raiders and the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL and represented the New Zealand Kiwis at international level, being a part of the 2008 World Cup winning squad. Harrison was born in Auckland, New Zealand, He played his junior football for Five Dock and the Leichhardt Wanderers before being signed by the Wests Tigers. Harrison made his NRL debut for the Wests Tigers in Round 4 of the 2004 NRL season against the North Queensland Cowboys; as NRL Premiers, Wests faced Super League champions Bradford Bulls in the 2006 World Club Challenge. Harrison played from the interchange bench in the Tigers' 30-10 loss. On 25 September 2008, although contracted to the Wests Tigers for a further season, Harrison was released and signed a 3-year deal with the Canberra Raiders, he joined the Raiders in 2009. After 2 years with the Raiders, Harrison was given the chance to co-captain 5 games in the 2011 season.
On 14 November 2012, Harrison signed a 2-year contract with the St. George Illawarra Dragons starting in 2013, after being released from the final year of his Raiders contract; the 2013 NRL season was Harrison's first with St George Illawarra Dragons. In 2014, Harrison became an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government and is an Apprentice Mentor in the NRL's Trade UP With The NRL Program. Harrison made his international debut for New Zealand in a test against France in 2005. After missing out on the New Zealand national rugby league team 24-man squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, Harrison played against the Kiwis for the New Zealand Māori in a warm up match. Following an injury to Brent Webb, Harrison was called in as a replacement in the New Zealand World Cup squad, he was a starting player in New Zealand's squad for the World Cup final victory over Australia. Harrison was selected for the ANZAC Test and Four Nations in 2009, again being selected for both in 2010.
For the 2010 Anzac Test, Harrison was selected to play for New Zealand at second-row forward in their loss against Australia. He was selected for the ANZAC Test in 2011 but after a disappointing year for the Raiders, missed out on the Four Nations squad that year. 2012 Canberra Raiders profile NRL profile