The ninth and 10th Immortals are set to be unveiled on Wednesday night.
The ninth and 10th Immortals are set to be unveiled on Wednesday night.

‘He’s a certainty’: Who experts are tipping to become Immortals

AS many as two legends of rugby league will elevated to our game's highest echelon on Wednesday night.

The ninth, and possible 10th, Immortals will be unveiled at a ceremony at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the shortlist including Dally Messenger, Frank Burge, Dave Brown, Brian Bevan, Duncan Hall, Ken Irvine, Norm Provan, Ron Coote, Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer.

Debate has raged for months as to who will join Clive Churchill, John Raper, Reg Gasnier, Bob Fulton, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson in league's most exclusive club.

Here are some of the opinions from around the game.

GEOFF PRENTER - Founding Rugby League Week editor

Selection: Norm Provan

"He won 10 premierships, four as captain-coach. No one has ever done that, no one ever will do that. Great player, great leader of men, great inspiration. Led by example all the time. He was admired and respected by all the players that played with him."

Norm Provan won 10 premierships with St George. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
Norm Provan won 10 premierships with St George. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) PAUL MILLER

BILL HARRIGAN - Former NRL referee

Selections: Dally Messenger and Ron Coote

On Messenger: "For reasons really, that he started rugby league."

STEVE ROACH - Former Australia, NSW and Balmain player

Selections: Norm Provan and Mal Meninga

On Provan: "I'd have Norm Provan in there straight away because of the 10 premierships and what he did for rugby league and St George."

On Meninga: "Because of the stuff he did not only with the Australian side now, but with that Queensland State of Origin side."

JUSTIN HODGES - Fox League commentator and former NRL player

Selection: Mal Meninga

"I just think that he deserves to be there. In the 80s and the 90s he was one of those iconic guys … He was so aggressive, he was so big and just watching guys trying to tackle him … You saw the respect he had immediately both on the field and off the field and that just comes from being the player that he was."

Darren Lockyer and Mal Meninga are up for Immortals induction.
Darren Lockyer and Mal Meninga are up for Immortals induction.

PHIL ROTHFIELD - Senior Daily Telegraph journalist and former Immortals judge

Selections: Dally Messenger and Mal Meninga

On Messenger: "We wouldn't have a rugby league game without Dally Messenger."

On Meninga: "I've been influence by his coaching record and overall standing in the game."

GRAEME HUGHES - Sports broadcaster and former Canterbury player

Selections: Dally Messenger and Norm Provan

"I'm definitely going Messenger, the man that really gave us rugby league. And I'm going to run with Norm Provan."

PAUL CRAWLEY - Daily Telegraph NRL journalist

Selections: Dally Messenger and Brian Bevan

On Messenger: "Simply because if there's no Dally Messenger we don't have a game of rugby league in Australia."

On Bevan: "He scored 757 tries in 670 games over 23 seasons."

GEOFF TOOVEY - Former NRL player and coach

Selection: Ken Irvine

"He's a try-scoring magician, freak, so I'm going to back him … the record he's got may never be surpassed."

BRETT KIMMORLEY - Fox League commentator and former NRL player

Selection: Norm Provan

"I think Norm Provan will get in. Imagine being captain-coach of an organisation and be that successful."

PAUL KENT - NRL 360 host and Daily Telegraph journalist

Selections: Dally Messenger and Brian Bevan

"I think Dally Messenger is a certainty … and Brian Bevan. England was the dominant competition in the era (Bevan) played much like Sam Burgess as an Englishman is now playing in the NRL."

BEN IKIN - NRL 360 host and former NRL player

Selections: Dally Messenger, Brian Bevan and Ron Coote

On Coote: "Nine grand finals with South Sydney and Eastern Suburbs. Quite amazing."



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