Meninga the next Immortal: Lockyer, Lewis


 , ,

32 Have your say

    Rugby league icons Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer are unanimous in their thinking: Mal Meninga should be crowned the next Immortal.

    The debate has begun on who will claim rugby league’s most prestigious honour after the NRL confirmed up to two Immortals are certain to be unveiled later this year.

    Lewis, who is already part of the eight, had no hesitation in declaring who would get his vote – and it stems from a career where he often feared the giant centre.

    “When you have a look at his record, it’s going to be hard for somebody to get over the top of him,” Lewis said of Meninga.

    “If you’re playing against Mal on the field, you were hoping that you were on the other side of him and he was going to be running at somebody else.

    “I always used to advise my players, don’t ever upset Mal Meninga. Talk to him, tell him we’ll have a beer after the game, anything along those lines.

    “But don’t tell him he can’t play, or you’ve got a better player on your side.

    “He was tough, uncompromising and one of those players – if you ever picked a team of players that you wanted to go into battle with, Mal Meninga’s name would be there.”

    Lockyer, who has also been widely tipped to join the exclusive group, also believed Meninga deserves the right to be handed the accolade.

    “Wally Lewis was my childhood hero, (but) he’s already an Immortal,” Lockyer said.

    “So a guy going around at the same time that’s done a hell of a lot on the field, whether it be for Queensland, Australia, Canberra or Souths or Brisbane, it’s hard to go past Mal.”

    Lewis said the only other contenders that could go past Meninga were players from the pre-World War II era, who are only now being considered for the honour.

    After buying the intellectual property rights from Rugby League Week magazine last year, the NRL opted to stretch its net to players all the way back to the game’s foundation in 1908.

    That opens the door for the likes of Dally Messenger and Dave Brown to be recognised.

    “(Provan’s) photo and image has been used as a promotion for rugby league for some time. I’m sure rugby league wouldn’t waste a talent like that,” Lewis said.

    “And to have such an incredible record like he had certainly deserves a fair consideration.”

    © AAP 2018
    Getting hassled by a parent or partner about spending too much time playing video games? Now, you can tell them the story of how some ordinary gamers scored $225k for just seven weeks of work.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (32)

    • March 20th 2018 @ 9:09am
      rossco said | March 20th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Lewis, Lockyer are Queenslanders; Meninga is a Queenslander.


      Surely the call for historical nominations is breaking through and Messenger, Horder or Provan should be in consideration as much as anyone else.

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2018 @ 1:17pm
        Paul Dawson said | March 20th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        Maybe because Queensland is the only state to produce a footballer worthy of being an immortal in the last 20 years

        NSW is basically dusting off mothballs and reminding us that they weren’t always terrible

        • Roar Rookie

          March 20th 2018 @ 3:30pm
          Dogs Boddy said | March 20th 2018 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

          You mean besides Andrew Johns right??

          • Roar Guru

            March 20th 2018 @ 3:37pm
            Paul Dawson said | March 20th 2018 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

            Like I said – “worthy of being an immortal”

            • March 21st 2018 @ 10:25am
              Beastie said | March 21st 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

              Learn what the criteria is for being an immortal.
              It is ONLY based on the players on-field contributions.
              People shouldn’t comment if they don’t understand the subject.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 11:03am
                Paul Dawson said | March 21st 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

                A ruling brought in solely so NSW could get some of their “outstanding” moral candidates like Langlands and Johns up no doubt

              • March 21st 2018 @ 11:15am
                Beastie said | March 21st 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

                Once again showing your vast knowledge on the subject.
                It has been the criteria from day 1 which was way back in 1981, 31 years before Johns was admitted. If you have a problem with the selection criteria, take it up with the NRL, or the 13 judges & the current living immortals because they all had a vote on it, in which they all agreed to make Johns an Immortal.

        • Roar Guru

          March 20th 2018 @ 4:11pm
          The Barry said | March 20th 2018 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

          Meninga retired in 94…

          • Roar Guru

            March 20th 2018 @ 4:30pm
            Paul Dawson said | March 20th 2018 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

            Cam Smith will and should be an immortal before Lockyer, if I was choosing them. That’s one

            Lockyer, Slater, Thurston – all better than anything to come out of NSW

            Freddy Fittler as an immortal? Lozza Daley? Maybe Aaron Woods? Yeah right 😛

            • Roar Guru

              March 20th 2018 @ 6:38pm
              The Barry said | March 20th 2018 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

              Daley and Fittler have as legitimate claims as Lockyer and Slater…

              • Roar Guru

                March 20th 2018 @ 8:49pm
                Paul Dawson said | March 20th 2018 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

                Honestly if I was picking immortals from the last 40 years in Queensland I’d go Meninga, Smith, Thurston and that’s it. Maybe Lockyer, but geez if they gave one to Lockyer they may as well give one to Terry Lamb. I wouldn’t give one to Slater either, I’m just saying even the queenslanders not good enough to get immortal status are better than anything that has come out of NSW over the same period

              • March 21st 2018 @ 10:44am
                Alan said | March 21st 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

                Except for them not being anywhere near as good.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 12:30pm
                Emcie said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure Slater is really immortal caliber. I know he’s getting a lot of hype lately but he wasn’t exactly the best of the best for much of his career and faces much less competition at fullback now then he did for much of his early career where he was up against the likes of Hunt, Stewart, Minochello, Lockyer etc etc

            • March 20th 2018 @ 11:07pm
              Johnno said | March 20th 2018 @ 11:07pm | ! Report

              Wow Paul D very harsh on Locky, he’s way better than Terry Lamba was(who was good to). Loocky is above Daley and Fitler to(get over it) and certainly in the class of wally lewis/thurston/cam smith/billy slater, you really have no idea about footy it seems, you are way out of line in your opinions of Locky who has leigtimate claims to be the best rugby league player “ever” or the last 50 years…

              • March 21st 2018 @ 10:29am
                Beastie said | March 21st 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

                Agree 100%. Locky was the best player in the world in 2 completely different positions. Hard to go past.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 11:04am
                Paul Dawson said | March 21st 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                Johnno, keep stroking the poster of Lockie in your bedroom and repeating “everything will be alright”

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 12:11pm
                Emcie said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

                Wy not Locky? he set most of the records that Smith is now being credited for breaking

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 12:17pm
                Paul Dawson said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

                As someone else said below, I think he was an exceptional player, but not an immortal

                To use an example from another sport, a bit like Greg Chappell. When he retired everyone said he was the best since Bradman.

                30 years later and Border, Ponting, Waugh and Smith have probably all gone past him. I’m just saying that we should let the dust settle a bit and get a longer perspective regarding Lockyer.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 12:49pm
                The Barry said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                Paul D…I think that’s a great point about letting the dust settle. I think it should be obligatory for there to be a cooling off period. Or just scrap the immortals altogether.

                I think Lockyer was a wonderful player. The first time I ever saw him play I called that he’d be a great.

                But I don’t think he’s quite at that immortal level. I think Lewis was a better 5/8 and Slater a better fullback so he doesn’t make Queensland’s all time origin team. I think Slater is the best fullback I’ve seen but I’m not convinced of immortal status.

                But you know what, we shouldn’t even be having this conversation. All of these guys – and more – are great players and deserve to be recognised rather than having us talk them down for why they don’t belong in the elite group.

                We’ve set up a situation where “only” making the hall of fame is somehow a failure.

                And if you look at my response above to Paul D and Alan’s response to me, a lot of the time this comes down to “are not, are too, are not…” sort of arguments.

              • Roar Guru

                March 21st 2018 @ 12:49pm
                The Barry said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

                Lockyers rug could be an immortal…

    • March 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm
      Dago dingo said | March 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

      Mal “plaster on forearm cast” Meninga? No, sorry, I’d give immortal status to Arthur Beetson before Meninga all day long.

      • Roar Guru

        March 20th 2018 @ 4:12pm
        The Barry said | March 20th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

        Beetson has been an immortal since 2003…

    • Roar Guru

      March 20th 2018 @ 4:10pm
      The Barry said | March 20th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

      Breaking news: Queenslanders unanimously nominate Queenslander to be next immortal !

      In other news, water wet.

    • March 20th 2018 @ 6:37pm
      The Koomz said | March 20th 2018 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

      Mal, hands down legend. Should have been an immortal before Johns. Came down to the Raiders and lifted them to be a powerhouse club, like Thurstan did with the cows. Held every record in Origin and played in the first ever game. Held point scoring record for the Kangaroo’s and Captained the team when Lewis was still playing. Deadset IMMORTAL!

    • Roar Guru

      March 21st 2018 @ 11:42am
      Emcie said | March 21st 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

      I wasn’t old enough to apreciate Meninga’s playing abilities, but the only guys since then that I would include in in immortals would be Johns (already in obviously) and Lockyer, with Smith and Thurston being the only current players worth considering. I think any more than that and you start blurring the line between great and exceptional

    • March 21st 2018 @ 12:04pm
      Tommy said | March 21st 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

      Meninga ‘what has Rugby League ever done for me’ Meninga an immortal

      No thaks

      • Roar Guru

        March 21st 2018 @ 4:50pm
        The Barry said | March 21st 2018 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

        Wouldn’t that make his name Meninga Meninga…? 🤣

    , ,