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Rugby League. History. Culture. @themessengerrl on Instagram and Twitter.

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Fingers crossed.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2006

Thanks for the kind words!

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2006

I was tempted to select Taylor in the halves, given he often played like a frustrated half trapped in an enforcer’s body.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2006

Good shout. One of several players in this team who enjoyed their best footy in England.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2006

I’m a dedicated follower of Queensland off-spinners.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2005

Two great players. Too right about Matai.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2005

True. No shortage of effort or toughness though. Hopefully they can lay the foundation for Inglis.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2005

Tough hombres.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2005

Fair call, you’re right about Soliola. Tough players across the park.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2005

That 2008 season…

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2004

One of the great characters. Has to be in this dressing room.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2004

We can only dream. Can I borrow the VR to assemble this squad in the pub?

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2004

Chronically underrated. Very solid player for a very long time.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2004

Monsters out wide.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2004

I might have to swap Slater and Stewart — just doesn’t feel right denying the better fullback the number one jumper.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

Good pick-up. I must admit he wasn’t on my radar and even after Googling him I struggle to recall much about his career. Although his CV warrants consideration, for sure.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

Brain fart with Lawrence (was writing him into the ’06 team prior to writing that comment, so had him on the brain).

Replace him with Halatau in that alternative back five.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

Great memory — Merritt topped the NRL try-scoring with 22 tries in 2006 when Souths came last (winning only three games, remarkably).

He was also equal top with Ben Barba (23) in 2011 and Souths missed the finals that year, too.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2002

Very good points. If we were picking the best specialists in each position, I’d have 1. Billy Slater, 2. Luke Covell, 3. Chris Lawrence, 4. Matt King, 5. David Simmons.

I originally prioritised maximising talent on the team sheet, and the back five in my original team are a stronger collection players than the five listed above.

But for a real game, I could be swayed to choosing the positional specialists (especially considering Covell would also give this side a terrific goal-kicker). I’d hate to leave out Stewart though…

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

Loved Galloway. Great stocks of big men debuted in ’04.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

Just got off the phone with Billy, he’s not too disappointed by the snub. In fact, his exact response: ‘What team are you talking about?’

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2003

I hadn’t thought about this pack under the new rules — great point. Compact big men with big motors.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2002

That’s the weakness, for sure.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2002

That’s it — sorry, I should’ve noted that in the copy.

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2002

Yep, there’s a certain headgeared half who’s a pretty straightforward selection!!

Rugby league rookie cup: The class of 2001

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