Former Lennox Head No 8 Jeff Wilson earns top spot as the Far North Coast rugby union player of the decade. Photo Marc Stapelberg.
Former Lennox Head No 8 Jeff Wilson earns top spot as the Far North Coast rugby union player of the decade. Photo Marc Stapelberg.

TOP 10: The best local rugby players of past decade

10: Liam Preston, Ballina

He came into first grade as a teenager and quickly made a name for himself as one of the toughest pound for pound players getting around.

Preston won the Best and Fairest award for the competition in 2012 and played in two grand finals.

9: Jerry Faifaise, Wollongbar-Alstonville/Lennox Head

All the strength and one of the biggest wrecking balls in the competition in recent memory.

Faifaise helped Wollongbar-Alstonville break an 18-year premiership drought in 2014 and was selected in the NSW Country squad in 2015.

8: Craig Wallace, Byron Bay

Wears his heart on his sleeve and will do whatever it takes to win.

He plays through the pain barrier with ongoing knee injuries and has helped make Byron Bay a serious finals contender most years since his arrival in 2013.

7: Joe Akkersdyk, Lismore

Developed from a big kid to one of the best ball-running forwards in the competition between 2010-2013.

He has continued to impress since moving to Newcastle winning grand finals with Hamilton and earning selection in the NSW Country squad.

6: Grant Knight, Ballina

Plenty of determination and has the skill set to go along with it.

Knight has a brilliant kicking game and is one of the most dominant players in the competition on his day.

5: Harry Witt, Lennox Head/SCU

He played a tough brand of rugby for several years and had the ability to read the game better than most other forwards.

A big part of the Trojans’ early success and carried that knowledge with him as a coach at SCU.

4: Harvey Bell, Byron Bay

An enigmatic player who was a threat from centre, halfback and fullback.

Some of his individual efforts during big games were a highlight in 2015 and 2016.

3: Sam Stewart, Lennox Head

He was already a gun centre when he arrived at Lennox Head in 2008 and was able to keep that momentum going.

A NSW Country vice-captain and representative award winner with the Cockatoos while claiming multiple premierships at the Trojans.

2: Ben Damen, Wollongbar-Alstonville

The best player still running around from this list and has had a stranglehold on the premiership trophy since 2014.

He pushed through some lean years at the Pioneers and has helped transform the club to the benchmark side having won six straight premierships.

1: Jeff Wilson, Lennox Head

The heart and soul of the Trojans during its run of five straight premierships between 2008-2012 and could always produce something special in the bigger games.

His representative honours included selection in a combined NSW and Queensland Country team against the British and Irish Lions in 2013.