Origin Greats: Who are the best centres?

RUGBY league greats Wally Lewis and Benny Elias have agreed to renew their rivalry - by selecting their greatest State of Origin sides.

But there's a catch: they'll name teams from opposing states, with Lewis naming his best NSW Origin side and Elias selecting his all-time best Queensland team.

The Origin Greats countdown started on Wednesday.

Each day (except Sundays) leading up to Origin One on May 27, we'll focus on one position, list the selection options and spark debate on who Lewis and Elias might pick.

You are able vote on your favourite option on our website each day for each position.

The public poll results and the picks of Lewis and Elias will run in print and online on game day, May 27.

Slater or Inglis? Daley or Fittler? Who will the legends pick?

It's being done as a tribute to the greatest sporting institution in this country.


On Wednesday we kicked off the series by voting on the fullbacks and yesterday we looked at the wingers.Today we'll examine the centres.


"The Crow" Michael William Cronin from Gerringong was one of the few centres with the strength and defensive skills to handle the size and power of Meninga, Miles, Inglis and Close who were man mountains.

He may not have been the flashiest centre to pull on a blue jersey but he was one of the toughest and most respected.

Laurie Daley and Brad Fittler both played in the No.6 for NSW.

But, they both qualify for selection in the centres and neither of these two champion players would be out of place if chosen in that position,

Fittler possessed one of the best and biggest sidesteps in the game while Daley was a wonderful competitor who was never, ever beaten.

Penrith's point-scoring marvel Ryan Girdler was an outstanding contributor for NSW scoring 97 Origin points from seven tries and 34 goals in his 10 appearances between 1997 and 2001.

Mark Gasnier (four tries) in 12 Origins was another in the Girdler mould. A very dangerous attacking player, he could beat defences with the family footwork which made his famous uncle Reg Gasnier arguably the best centre of his era for the Dragons.

Vote: Who did Wally pick as the best Blues centre? Click on the poll to consider all options.


What an awesome pairing Mal Meninga and Gene Miles were. Two big men who put fear in their rivals.

Meninga was a mountain of a man who was surprisingly quick on his feet with a fend that would knock over a gum tree.

Miles was a long-striding centre with a classic palm and the ability to loop a pass to his supports that was almost impossible to stop.

Throw in a bloke named Greg Inglis who has scored more Origin tries than any other player in history, Chris "Choppy" Close whose passion for the maroon jersey was unequalled and Justin Hodges who also wears his heart on his sleeve and the Maroons could field two combinations of equal ability.

Vote: Who did Benny pick as the best Maroons centre? Click on the poll to consider all options.

Click here to vote on the fullbacks

Click here to vote on the wingers

Did we miss any other worthy centres? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.