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Opinion

The Australian rugby league nomads

Blake Green on the Warriors. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
6 days ago
76
1212 Reads

Prior to my recent Roar profile makeover, I posted a couple of articles celebrating players who had long careers with just the one club.

But not everyone stays loyal, some players get moved on, some are victims of the salary cap while others change clubs looking for new opportunities, more money or just a change of scene.

The following team is made up of rugby league nomads who have run out in first grade for five or more ARL/NRL clubs during their careers. Note that I have included James Roberts on the suspicion that he will make first grade for the Tigers this year.

1. Dale Shearer
Six clubs – 181 games in total for Manly, Brisbane, Gold Coast Seagulls, South Queensland Crushers, Roosters and North Queensland.

An absolute champion who could play any position in the backline with ease. He also played 28 games for Australia and 26 Origins for Queensland.

2. Graham Mackay
Six clubs – 201 games in total for Wests Magpies, Penrith, Easts, South Queensland Crushers, Gold Coast Chargers and Manly.

A big, powerful winger who could also play centre. He also played one game for Australia, one for Scotland and four Origins for NSW.

3. James Roberts
Five clubs – 149 games in total for Souths (twice), Penrith, Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane and Wests Tigers as from this year.

Extremely quick and capable of some high-quality football on his day. At just 27, it’s more than likely that there could be more clubs on the horizon in his future. He also played three Origins for NSW.

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James Roberts runs with the ball

(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

4. John Carlaw
Six clubs – 151 games in total for Hunter Mariners, Melbourne, Balmain Tigers, Wests Tigers, Warriors and St George Illawarra.

A big outside back who always troubled the defence.

5. Chris Walker
Six clubs – 151 games in total for Brisbane, Souths, Roosters, Melbourne, Gold Coast Titans and Parramatta.

A speed machine and noted try-scorer who was extremely dangerous in broken play. He also played six Origins for Queensland.

6. Blake Green
Seven clubs – 175 games in total for Parramatta, Cronulla, Canterbury, Melbourne, Manly, Warriors and Newcastle.

At age 34, Newcastle may just be his last club. He has some ongoing injury issues, but when fit, there’s no better game manager.

7. Brett Kimmorley
Six clubs – 307 games in total for Newcastle, Hunter Mariners, Melbourne, Northern Eagles, Cronulla and Canterbury.

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One of the best halfbacks to play the game. He also played 27 games for Australia and ten Origins for NSW.

8. Martin Bella
Five clubs – 235 games in total for North Sydney, Manly, Canterbury, North Queensland and Gold Coast Chargers.

A big body with an equally big heart, and a Queensland legend. He also played 13 games for Australia and 21 Origins.

9. Michael Ennis
Five clubs – 274 games in total for Newcastle, St George Illawarra, Brisbane, Canterbury and Cronulla.

A talented and competitive hooker who went out of his way to unsettle the opposition. He also played eight Origins for NSW.

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10. Jeremy Latimore
Five clubs – 182 games in total for Parramatta, Warriors, St George Illawarra (twice), Penrith and Cronulla.

A powerful front-rower, strong ball carrier and great defender who could play big minutes.

11. Tyran Smith
Seven clubs – 188 games in total for South Sydney, North Queensland, Hunter Mariners, Warriors, Balmain Tigers, Wests Tigers and Canberra.

A giant of a man who transitioned from the centres to the back of the scrum and was always a handful for the opposition. He also played 11 games for New Zealand.

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12. Willie Mason
Five clubs – 292 games in total for Canterbury, Roosters, Cowboys, Newcastle and Manly.

Often a controversial figure, Mason was an absolute weapon at his peak. He also played 26 games for Australia, three for Tonga and 13 Origins for NSW.

13. Scott Sattler
Six clubs – 203 games in total for Gold Coast Seagulls, Roosters, South Queensland Crushers, Gold Coast Chargers, Penrith and Wests Tigers.

A wholehearted player with a great work rate and pulled off that tackle in the 2003 grand final. He also played one Origin for Queensland.

14. Scott Wilson
Six clubs – 109 games in total for Souths, North Sydney, Canterbury (twice), Gold Coast, Western Reds and North Queensland.

A handy utility player who could line-up anywhere in the backline. He also played one Super League game for NSW.

15. Darrien Doherty
Seven clubs – 67 games in total for Penrith, Wests Magpies, Canterbury, Illawarra, Hunter Mariners, Adelaide Rams and North Queensland.

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A handy forward who never played more than 20 first-grade games for any club.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

16. Kevin Campion
Six clubs – 241 games in total for Gold Coast Seagulls, St George Dragons, Adelaide Rams, Brisbane, Warriors and Cowboys.

One of the toughest back-rowers to play the game. He also played four games for Ireland and six for Queensland.

17. Tony Iro
Five clubs – 184 games in total for Manly, Roosters, Hunter Mariners, Adelaide Rams and Souths.

A devastating ball runner either in the backs or the second row. He also played 31 games for New Zealand.

Some honourable mentions for eligible players who didn’t make the final cut include Dane Nielsen (five clubs), James Maloney (five clubs), Phil Blake (six clubs), John Elias (six clubs), Noel Goldthorpe (five clubs) and Kylie Leuluai (five clubs).

Can you think of any more?

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