The Roar
The Roar


South Sydney Rabbitohs all-time greatest XVII

Sam Burgess' 2014 grand final performance showed just how tough he is. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Roar Guru
12th October, 2015
3039 Reads

Today I will continue my series naming the greatest all-time teams for each NRL side. I will continue with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

They are over 100 years old and have had many great players that helped them win a record 21 premierships.

1. Clive Churchill- 37 caps for Australia, Immortal
I have never seen him play, but when the best player on the field in the grand final wins a medal named after him, you know he was special. Churchill was a master in all facets of attack who changed the way fullbacks played. Only 175cm, he would often stand up to bigger opponents with huge tackles.

The first ever Immortal had to get a place in this team.

2. Terry Fahey- 6 caps for Australia, winger of the year, 2 caps for NSW
Fahey was a consistent and dynamic runner of the ball who was a fan favourite for years at Redfern.

3. Ray Barnigan- 17 caps for Australia
It was always a tough assignment marking him. He could provide a lot of points for Souths. One of the best in his position in his time, it is unfortunate he went to Manly as he could have been a Souths great.

4. Greg Inglis- 34 caps for Australia, 27 for Queensland, Clive Churchill Medal Winner, Centre of the year, fullback of the year, five-eighth of the year, RLIF Fullback of the year, RLIF Centre of the year and Wally Lewis Medal Winner
Inglis is the most damaging ball runner ever seen in rugby league. At 196cm, over 100kg and with the speed, power and a fend, Inglis is a Mack Truck with eyes. He can break tackles and destroy a defence at will.

He also posses great ball skills. He won Clive Churchill Medal at five-eighth. He may play for the Rabbitohs now but his greatest days were in Storm colours. Inglis will go down as one of the greatest players.

5. Nathan Merritt- 1 cap for NSW
He has been the heart and soul of the Rabbitohs in the 2000s. He was there when the team was a laughing stock and he was super underrated during his entire career. He scored 154 tries, a Souths record.


6. Dennis Pittard- 2x Rothmans medal winner, 6 caps for Australia.
A small, cheeky player, Pittard was often the star in the great Souths teams – a true testament of his amazing talent. He was a part of one the best halves pairing in history.

7. Bob Grant- 2 caps for Australia, RLW Player of the year.
Grant was overshadowed by the great team he played in but he was the on-field general who led the side around the park. He played in a great era of halfbacks which explained his lack of representative jerseys.

8. John O’ Neil- 8 caps for Australia.
A tough and rugged prop who belted his opponents in defence and barged over people like a steamroller. One the most scariest sights in rugby Leauge.

9. Mario Fenech- 2 caps for NSW
The Falcon was without a doubt the most passionate Souths player ever. His blood was red and green. His fiery temper and rage made him a great captain who should have played more representative games.

10. Les Davidson- 4 caps for Australia, 5 for NSW
Another fiery Souths player who made his mark with brute aggression and toughness he was a great defender who made oppositions go around not through him.

11. Bob McCarthy- 15 caps for Australia
This guy was a mutant and in a good way. How can someone be that strong and that fast and big is beyond me. He changed the way second rowers play by being the first to play on the edge. The five tackle rule came to effect to nullify his unstoppable runs.

His finest moment is scoring a length of the field intercept try to win a grand final against the Bulldogs.

12. Sam Burgess- 13 caps for England, RLIF Prop of the year, lock of the year, Clive Churchill Medal Winner
Perhaps the greatest ever English player, Burgess was a warrior who was a damaging runner and defender he caused nightmares for opposition due to his power and Footy IQ. His performance in 2014 grand final, where he played 79 minutes with a fractured cheekbone, was phenomenal. He helped his side to break Souths’ 43-year premiership drought and win the Clive Churchill Medal.


13. Ron Coote- 23 caps for Australia, 14 for NSW
Coote is one of the greatest locks ever. He signature cover defence helped him save plenty of tries. His tall frame made him difficult to tackle as he could fend and offload like no other. He was a key factor in Souths’ late 60s and early 70s premiership wins.

Bench: Ian Roberts, John Sattler, John Sutton, Paul Sait
This team has everything, with forward strength and fast backs. They have plenty of grunt up front but also the finesse to put on points from the back.

They are a great side, but are they the best ever?