The NRL has announced 25 finalists for the Hall of Fame Final Ballot 2018, of which six players will be formally inducted later in the year.
Three New Zealanders were named in the 25: NZRL Player of the Century and former Warriors coach Mark Graham, and Warriors icons Stacey Jones and Ruben Wiki. Foundation Warrior and Penrith legend Greg Alexander was also chosen.
Here’s what NRL.com had to say about the decorated careers of Jones and Wiki:
The mercurial Jones led the New Zealand Warriors to their first ever grand final in 2002, scoring a scintillating try in the 30-8 loss to the Roosters. He capped a superb season in 2002 by winning the Golden Boot as the game’s best player.
Second only to Simon Mannering on the list of all time games for the Warriors. Jones was an inspirational leader who orchestrated many famous wins from halfback. His 77 tries for the Warriors is second only to Manu Vatuvei’s 152.
Jones played 45 Test matches for his beloved Kiwis, including a starring role in the 2005 Tri-Nations final, which New Zealand won 24-0 against Australia.
The record holder for most Tests for New Zealand with 55 caps, Ruben Wiki ran with power and passion every time he touched the ball.
The hard-nosed Aucklander displayed incredible longevity during his career, playing 311 games in a 16-year career at Canberra and the Warriors.
A member of the Raiders’ 1994 premiership side, Wiki was equally as damaging at centre and the back row. More than a decade after that premiership glory in Canberra, Wiki was still going strong, leading New Zealand to a crushing 24-0 win over Australia in final of the 2005 Tri-Nations.
The full list of nominees is: Bob Lindner, Cliff Lyons, Craig Young, Danny Buderus, Denis Flannery, Elwyn Walters, Gorden Tallis, Greg Alexander, Ian Moir, Jack Watkins, Kevin Walters, Mark Graham, Michael O’Connor, Paul Harragon, Peter Dimond, Petero Civoniceva, Ricky Stuart, Rod Reddy, Ron Lynch, Royce Simmons, Ruben Wiki, Stacey Jones, Steve Menzies, Steve Renouf, Wally O’Connell.
After much deliberation, the 25 finalists have been decided for the National Rugby League Hall of Fame Ballot:https://t.co/BYExqJ90Dr#NRL pic.twitter.com/ovVxKy0yMQ
— NRL (@NRL) April 28, 2018
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