General Best players to never win a premiership.

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
5,954
They've played and won Origins, starred for their countries, claimed World Cup glory and scored dozens of tries, but plenty of the game's modern greats have never won a premiership.

Nathan Hindmarsh is the first name that springs to mind when speaking about the best players never to win a comp, but plenty of others are in the mix.
Inspired by the NRL's vote to determine the best player never to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy, we decided to name the best XIII to never win a premiership.

We've limited our side to the NRL-era, because, let's face it, although Frank Burge is an Immortal, we've never seen him play.
MORE: Kevin Walters hits out at NRL over spending | When will the NRL return?
One player on the list was arguably better before the Super League split - but we just couldn't leave him out.
That said, here's the team.
FULLBACK - MATT BOWEN
Bowen scored a whopping 130 tries in 240 NRL games for the Cowboys, and made 10 State of Origin appearances for Queensland.
After more than a decade playing in Townsville, the man known as Mango left for Super League just two years before the Cowboys won their lone title.
Sidenote: Never forget when Bowen was on Serbian morning TV talking up the greatest game of all.

WINGERS - ANDREW ETTINGSHAUSEN AND MANU VATUVEI
328 games for Cronulla. 30 matches for New South Wales and 29 for Australia. A spot alongside Tina Turner in the NRL's iconic promo ad. A wildly successful post-playing career fishing show.
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Winning a premiership is pretty much the only thing ET hasn't done.
His emotion when congratulating Paul Gallen after the Sharks' drought-breaking 2016 win said it all.
Partering ET on the other wing is Manu Vatuvei, who scored 10 or more tries in a remarkable 10 consecutive seasons for the Warriors.
'The Beast' won a Wolrd Cup in 2008, and went close to NRL glory in 2011, but had to settle for a grand final try as the Warriors went down to Manly.

CENTRES - JARRYD HAYNE AND JOSH MORRIS
Two-time Dally M winner Hayne is more famous for wearing the number one, but had some great moments in the centres on rep duty over the years.
Let's be honest, at his peak, you could put Hayne anywhere in your backline and he'd do the job - well, except win a premiership.
Of all the players in this team, 14-year veteran Josh Morris probably had the best chance of breaking his drought after signing with the Roosters days before the NRL suspended the 2020 season.
J-Moz went agonisngly close on two occasions, losing grand finals with the Bulldogs in 2012 and 2014.

FIVE-EIGHTH - STACEY JONES
Argubaly the greatest Warriors player ever, Stacey Jones ran the show when the Kiwi-side managed to combine an entertaining style with results in the early 2000s.
The little general also scored one of the great NRL grand final tries you'll see as the Warriors lost to the Roosters in the 2002 decider.

HALFBACK - SHAUN JOHNSON
Another mercurial playmaker who could've won a comp by now if he wasn't at the Warriors. Harsh but true.
On his day, Johnson is the most electrifying player in the game and would have been another player in this team who had a decent shout at breaking his drought this year.
Skip to 1:11 for what we reckon is SJ's best ever try.

PROPS - NATHAN CAYLESS AND JAMES GRAHAM
Eels stalwart Nathan Cayless played 256 matches for Parramatta but was never able to claim an elusive premiership.
He watched his best chance go up in smoke as an Andrew Johns-inspired Knights outfit blew out to a huge lead and held off a second half comeback in 2001.
You could put an asterisk next to James Graham's name here, because he won a Super League title with St Helens before moving Down Under. But the fiery Englishman has since lost two NRL grand finals with the Bulldogs.

HOOKER - JOSH HODGSON
One of the best English imports the NRL has seen in recent years, Hodgson burst onto the scene in 2016, guiding the Raiders to a second placed finish on the table.
He was also a key figure in last year's heart-breaking grand final defeat to the Roosters.

SECOND ROW - NATHAN HINDMARSH AND SIMON MANNERING
Poor old Hindy. He'll always be the first picked in these kinds of teams and lists. And he'll always cop it from the likes of Bryan Fletcher and Matty Johns on TV.
Simon Mannering rounds out the Warriors players in the team. The Kiwi rugby league legend cracked the 300 game club in his final NRL season and despite being a second-rower for most of his career, was versatile enough to play in the centres when New Zealand won the World Cup in 2008.

LOCK - GREG BIRD
Greg Bird played so many Tests for Australia and Origins for New South Wales (a combined 35, with a few City-Country matches and All Stars appearances thrown in) that you'd almost forget he hasn't won a premiership.
But then you remember that his 235 NRL games were split between the Sharks and Titans, who each struggled over those periods.

Also, that time he challenged Mal Meninga to run at him
 

Off The Bench

Warriors 1st Grader
Jan 26, 2014
3,176
They've played and won Origins, starred for their countries, claimed World Cup glory and scored dozens of tries, but plenty of the game's modern greats have never won a premiership.

Nathan Hindmarsh is the first name that springs to mind when speaking about the best players never to win a comp, but plenty of others are in the mix.
Inspired by the NRL's vote to determine the best player never to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy, we decided to name the best XIII to never win a premiership.

We've limited our side to the NRL-era, because, let's face it, although Frank Burge is an Immortal, we've never seen him play.
MORE: Kevin Walters hits out at NRL over spending | When will the NRL return?
One player on the list was arguably better before the Super League split - but we just couldn't leave him out.
That said, here's the team.
FULLBACK - MATT BOWEN
Bowen scored a whopping 130 tries in 240 NRL games for the Cowboys, and made 10 State of Origin appearances for Queensland.
After more than a decade playing in Townsville, the man known as Mango left for Super League just two years before the Cowboys won their lone title.
Sidenote: Never forget when Bowen was on Serbian morning TV talking up the greatest game of all.

WINGERS - ANDREW ETTINGSHAUSEN AND MANU VATUVEI
328 games for Cronulla. 30 matches for New South Wales and 29 for Australia. A spot alongside Tina Turner in the NRL's iconic promo ad. A wildly successful post-playing career fishing show.
ADVERTISEMENT
Winning a premiership is pretty much the only thing ET hasn't done.
His emotion when congratulating Paul Gallen after the Sharks' drought-breaking 2016 win said it all.
Partering ET on the other wing is Manu Vatuvei, who scored 10 or more tries in a remarkable 10 consecutive seasons for the Warriors.
'The Beast' won a Wolrd Cup in 2008, and went close to NRL glory in 2011, but had to settle for a grand final try as the Warriors went down to Manly.

CENTRES - JARRYD HAYNE AND JOSH MORRIS
Two-time Dally M winner Hayne is more famous for wearing the number one, but had some great moments in the centres on rep duty over the years.
Let's be honest, at his peak, you could put Hayne anywhere in your backline and he'd do the job - well, except win a premiership.
Of all the players in this team, 14-year veteran Josh Morris probably had the best chance of breaking his drought after signing with the Roosters days before the NRL suspended the 2020 season.
J-Moz went agonisngly close on two occasions, losing grand finals with the Bulldogs in 2012 and 2014.

FIVE-EIGHTH - STACEY JONES
Argubaly the greatest Warriors player ever, Stacey Jones ran the show when the Kiwi-side managed to combine an entertaining style with results in the early 2000s.
The little general also scored one of the great NRL grand final tries you'll see as the Warriors lost to the Roosters in the 2002 decider.

HALFBACK - SHAUN JOHNSON
Another mercurial playmaker who could've won a comp by now if he wasn't at the Warriors. Harsh but true.
On his day, Johnson is the most electrifying player in the game and would have been another player in this team who had a decent shout at breaking his drought this year.
Skip to 1:11 for what we reckon is SJ's best ever try.

PROPS - NATHAN CAYLESS AND JAMES GRAHAM
Eels stalwart Nathan Cayless played 256 matches for Parramatta but was never able to claim an elusive premiership.
He watched his best chance go up in smoke as an Andrew Johns-inspired Knights outfit blew out to a huge lead and held off a second half comeback in 2001.
You could put an asterisk next to James Graham's name here, because he won a Super League title with St Helens before moving Down Under. But the fiery Englishman has since lost two NRL grand finals with the Bulldogs.

HOOKER - JOSH HODGSON
One of the best English imports the NRL has seen in recent years, Hodgson burst onto the scene in 2016, guiding the Raiders to a second placed finish on the table.
He was also a key figure in last year's heart-breaking grand final defeat to the Roosters.

SECOND ROW - NATHAN HINDMARSH AND SIMON MANNERING
Poor old Hindy. He'll always be the first picked in these kinds of teams and lists. And he'll always cop it from the likes of Bryan Fletcher and Matty Johns on TV.
Simon Mannering rounds out the Warriors players in the team. The Kiwi rugby league legend cracked the 300 game club in his final NRL season and despite being a second-rower for most of his career, was versatile enough to play in the centres when New Zealand won the World Cup in 2008.

LOCK - GREG BIRD
Greg Bird played so many Tests for Australia and Origins for New South Wales (a combined 35, with a few City-Country matches and All Stars appearances thrown in) that you'd almost forget he hasn't won a premiership.
But then you remember that his 235 NRL games were split between the Sharks and Titans, who each struggled over those periods.

Also, that time he challenged Mal Meninga to run at him
Good team right there
 
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Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
5,954
My first thought was Wally Lewis tbh. Did he win one with Brisbane or had he left by then?
My other thought was Benny Elias

Never won with the broncos- did win the brisbane comp a couple of times.
It does say it’s of the nrl era tho (can’t really remember when that kicked off) prob why Benny missed out too.
There were a lot of great players in that tigers team that deserved a premiership- Elias, Roach, sirro, Wayne Pearce, freeman, brasher, jack, Ellery Hanley......
They were incredibly unlucky- 2 years in a row.
 

playdaball

Heritage Member
Apr 23, 2012
2,128
Looks like a modern team. As above anyone in the great Balmain era would be up there and of course, Mark Graham. He remained loyal to North Sydney but did win titles with Norths (Brisbane) and Otahuhu (Akld). Looking back I’ve pretty much repeated Defece’s post.
 
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Stalefish540

Even Simons tired.
Contributor
May 13, 2017
2,548
Mt. Smart
They've played and won Origins, starred for their countries, claimed World Cup glory and scored dozens of tries, but plenty of the game's modern greats have never won a premiership.

Nathan Hindmarsh is the first name that springs to mind when speaking about the best players never to win a comp, but plenty of others are in the mix.
Inspired by the NRL's vote to determine the best player never to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy, we decided to name the best XIII to never win a premiership.

We've limited our side to the NRL-era, because, let's face it, although Frank Burge is an Immortal, we've never seen him play.
MORE: Kevin Walters hits out at NRL over spending | When will the NRL return?
One player on the list was arguably better before the Super League split - but we just couldn't leave him out.
That said, here's the team.
FULLBACK - MATT BOWEN
Bowen scored a whopping 130 tries in 240 NRL games for the Cowboys, and made 10 State of Origin appearances for Queensland.
After more than a decade playing in Townsville, the man known as Mango left for Super League just two years before the Cowboys won their lone title.
Sidenote: Never forget when Bowen was on Serbian morning TV talking up the greatest game of all.

WINGERS - ANDREW ETTINGSHAUSEN AND MANU VATUVEI
328 games for Cronulla. 30 matches for New South Wales and 29 for Australia. A spot alongside Tina Turner in the NRL's iconic promo ad. A wildly successful post-playing career fishing show.
ADVERTISEMENT
Winning a premiership is pretty much the only thing ET hasn't done.
His emotion when congratulating Paul Gallen after the Sharks' drought-breaking 2016 win said it all.
Partering ET on the other wing is Manu Vatuvei, who scored 10 or more tries in a remarkable 10 consecutive seasons for the Warriors.
'The Beast' won a Wolrd Cup in 2008, and went close to NRL glory in 2011, but had to settle for a grand final try as the Warriors went down to Manly.

CENTRES - JARRYD HAYNE AND JOSH MORRIS
Two-time Dally M winner Hayne is more famous for wearing the number one, but had some great moments in the centres on rep duty over the years.
Let's be honest, at his peak, you could put Hayne anywhere in your backline and he'd do the job - well, except win a premiership.
Of all the players in this team, 14-year veteran Josh Morris probably had the best chance of breaking his drought after signing with the Roosters days before the NRL suspended the 2020 season.
J-Moz went agonisngly close on two occasions, losing grand finals with the Bulldogs in 2012 and 2014.

FIVE-EIGHTH - STACEY JONES
Argubaly the greatest Warriors player ever, Stacey Jones ran the show when the Kiwi-side managed to combine an entertaining style with results in the early 2000s.
The little general also scored one of the great NRL grand final tries you'll see as the Warriors lost to the Roosters in the 2002 decider.

HALFBACK - SHAUN JOHNSON
Another mercurial playmaker who could've won a comp by now if he wasn't at the Warriors. Harsh but true.
On his day, Johnson is the most electrifying player in the game and would have been another player in this team who had a decent shout at breaking his drought this year.
Skip to 1:11 for what we reckon is SJ's best ever try.

PROPS - NATHAN CAYLESS AND JAMES GRAHAM
Eels stalwart Nathan Cayless played 256 matches for Parramatta but was never able to claim an elusive premiership.
He watched his best chance go up in smoke as an Andrew Johns-inspired Knights outfit blew out to a huge lead and held off a second half comeback in 2001.
You could put an asterisk next to James Graham's name here, because he won a Super League title with St Helens before moving Down Under. But the fiery Englishman has since lost two NRL grand finals with the Bulldogs.

HOOKER - JOSH HODGSON
One of the best English imports the NRL has seen in recent years, Hodgson burst onto the scene in 2016, guiding the Raiders to a second placed finish on the table.
He was also a key figure in last year's heart-breaking grand final defeat to the Roosters.

SECOND ROW - NATHAN HINDMARSH AND SIMON MANNERING
Poor old Hindy. He'll always be the first picked in these kinds of teams and lists. And he'll always cop it from the likes of Bryan Fletcher and Matty Johns on TV.
Simon Mannering rounds out the Warriors players in the team. The Kiwi rugby league legend cracked the 300 game club in his final NRL season and despite being a second-rower for most of his career, was versatile enough to play in the centres when New Zealand won the World Cup in 2008.

LOCK - GREG BIRD
Greg Bird played so many Tests for Australia and Origins for New South Wales (a combined 35, with a few City-Country matches and All Stars appearances thrown in) that you'd almost forget he hasn't won a premiership.
But then you remember that his 235 NRL games were split between the Sharks and Titans, who each struggled over those periods.

Also, that time he challenged Mal Meninga to run at him
Customary Fuck Greg Bird for what he did.

Bloke isn't fit to lace up Sir Mannerings boots.
 
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wallacenz

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
7,327
I am actually surprised Mundine wasnt ahead of Jones. Mundine was super hyped in the late 90s before quitting league and he had a record to back it up as part of the St George team that rivalled the great Broncos team of the time

I guess he wasnt around long enough in that position.
 

Defence

Warriors 1st Grader
May 9, 2012
5,954
I am actually surprised Mundine wasnt ahead of Jones. Mundine was super hyped in the late 90s before quitting league and he had a record to back it up as part of the St George team that rivalled the great Broncos team of the time

I guess he wasnt around long enough in that position.

Won one at the broncos.
Might’ve been super league tho.
 
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Pozza

1st Grade Fringe
May 19, 2012
1,718
I am actually surprised Mundine wasnt ahead of Jones. Mundine was super hyped in the late 90s before quitting league and he had a record to back it up as part of the St George team that rivalled the great Broncos team of the time

I guess he wasnt around long enough in that position.
Mundine would have most certainly won a premiership if he hadn't been such a greedy guts!
 
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