Who has been the best English import?
Who has been the best English import?

Greatest English players Down Under

A HOST of English rugby league players have travelled Down Under to test themselves on Australia shores with varying degrees of success.

This is the 15 to 1 countdown of the greatest English players we've seen in rugby league in Australia since 1970.

15. GARRY SCHOFIELD: It was no coincidence that Balmain made the top five each year he played for them during the mid '80s.

14. STEVE NORTON: During the '70s Manly had a mortgage on skillful Pommy forwards. This class act was no different.

13. JOHN GRAY: An outstanding around-the-corner goal-kicker and ball-winning hooker for the Sea Eagles and the Bears from 1975 to 1983.

12. KEVIN WARD: Only had a brief stay at Manly but his impact was paramount in 1987, culminating in another premiership.

11. PHIL LOWE: A barnstorming wide-running second-row forward who scored Manly's only try in the 1976 grand final.

10. JOSH HODGSON: Has there been a more influential English player in the NRL? Without him last year the Raiders were rudderless.

9. GARETH ELLIS: The last time the West Tigers played finals football their forward leader was this Englishman.

8. GARETH WIDDOP: A premiership winner at the Storm and since 2014 he has been the Dragons most important player.

Gareth Widdop has earned his place on the list.
Gareth Widdop has earned his place on the list.

7. CLIFF WATSON: For Cronulla during the early '70s he was the intimidating front-rower that drove them towards the 1973 decider.

6. JAMES GRAHAM: In his early years at the Bulldogs he was arguably the NRL's No.1 prop with the skill-set of a No.7.

5. ELLERY HANLEY: When he arrived at Balmain in 1988 he was the world's best player. His performances during the final series that year was as dominant as I've seen.

4. ADRIAN MORLEY: Throughout his six years at the Roosters he was the most terrorising forward in the game. A key member of their 2002 premiership side.

3. TOMMY BISHOP: He was the reason the Sharks went from also-rans to contenders. The English halfback was Cronulla's captain-coach when they were grand finalists in 1973.

2. SAM BURGESS: No other Englishman has scored as many tries (57) in Australia. A Clive Churchill medallist and the backbone of Souths' resurgence this decade.

1. MAL REILLY: Tough, intimidating and ingenious are words best used to describe this outstanding back-rower. Won two titles in '72 and '73 and is still the best I've seen.