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25 Rugby League Trivia Questions & Answers

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There are 25 questions on this topic. Last updated May 20 2024.
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1 The fullback of the century hasn't played since the 1950s but his name lives on in Man of the Match medal awarded every year in the NRL Grand Final. With the nickname of "The Little Master" who was declared the fullback of the century?
Answer: Clive Churchill

Born in Newcatle in 1927, Clive Bernard Churchill was a brilliant player even in his school days. His professional footballing days started with a local team in Newcastle but it only took a year before scouts from Sydney spotted his prowess. A contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs was signed in 1947 and the legend of Clive Churchill, "The Little Master" began. Souths won five premierships with Clive in the team (1950-51, and 1953-55). Clive played 37 games for New South Wales (NSW) after his first selection in 1948. His test career spanned 1948-56, captaining for 24 matches. Clive went on Kangaroo tours in 1948-49, 1952-53, and 1956-57. He captained the Australian rugby league team on his second Kangaroo tour, and also in three test matches during the 1954 World Cup. Retirement from playing didn't stop Clive. He successfully took up coaching, firstly with the Rabbitohs, then Brisbane Norths, Canterbury-Bankstown, and then back to Souths. Clive guided the Rabbitohs to five premierships during his reign as coach. He also coached the Kangaroo team.

Clive was given the nickname of "The Little Master" in recognition of his skills, and his not overly tall stature. At only 5'9" tall and weighing 168lbs, (175cm & 76kg), he wasn't a giant of a man except for his skills. The Clive Churchill Medal has been awarded every year since 1986 to the "Man-of-the-Match" in the NRL (National Rugby League) grand final each year. Clive became Clive Churchill OAM when he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1985. He is one of only six sportsmen to have a stand named after him at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) and there is also plaque in his honour at the Walk of Fame at the SCG. He was also named as one of the first four "Immortals" of the game by the magazine "Rugby League Week" along with Fulton, Gasnier, and Raper. Clive died in 1985 but his legacy lives on.

The other players mentioned were all fullbacks of note having played for the Kangaroos as a fullback or in another back position. They all made their mark on the game playing fullback for their clubs; Eadie for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Thornett for the Parramatta Eels, and Billy Slater for the Melbourne Storm.
trivia question Quick Question
With what national team did Ruben Wiki make 55 appearances?

2 With what club did Wally Lewis make the least appearances?
Answer: Wakefield Trinity

Wally Lewis made 10 appearances for Wakefield in 1983-84 and 34 for the Gold Coast in 19910-92.

He played 31 times for Queensland from 1980 to 1991, and also appeared 33 times for Australia from 1981 to 1991. His chosen position was at five-eighth.
3 The first "Anglo-Australian" Test was held in London, in what year?
Answer: 1908

On 12th December 1908, the first Test was held in London. The first Australian team to tour England left Sydney in August 1908, supposedly without its best players. They played 45 matches, lost two Tests and drew the other.
4 With what English club did Newcastle Knights great Andrew Johns play only 3 games with during the 2005 Super League playoffs?
Answer: Warrington Wolves

Johns was named as halfback of the Australian rugby league Team of the Century. He played 24 matches for his country and 23 for New South Wales from 1995 to 2005.
5 H. H. Messenger or "Dally", as he was known, toured with the first Australian team to visit England. What do the initials H. H. stand for?
Answer: Herbert Henry

Herbert Henry Messenger earned his nickname from a family friend, William Dalley who became a Premier of NSW. He resembled William Dalley's portly build and at only 172cm tall was a stocky centre!
6 One of the wingers in the Team of the Century played for both the North Sydney Bears and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. He scored 33 tries in 31 test matches while playing for his country. Who is this try scoring winger?
Answer: Ken Irvine

Born in 1940, Kenneth John Irvine exhibited abilities in baseball and athletics. His sprinting stood him in good stead when he trialled for a position with the Bears. The coach at the time suggested management should "sign that kid up for life." They nearly did, with Ken Irvine playing for Norths from 1958 to 1970. After leaving Norths, he signed with Manly and played with them until 1973, scoring two premiership wins in 1972 and 1973. He barely lost any of his speed over the years. Speed was part of the formula enabling him to score a then record of 212 career tries in the NSWRL (NSW Rugby League) premiership competition. Irvine's record of 33 test tries was beaten by Darren Lockyer in in 2010 but the record had held its own for over forty years.

Ken Irvine played for Australia on Kangaroo tours in 1959-60, 1963-64 and 1967-68, in the World Cup in 1960, and Australian representative tours of New Zealand in 1961 and 1965. Remembered as a good bloke as well as a brilliant winger, Kenny Irvine died in 1990 of leukemia, aged a mere fifty years.

Ray Branighan was a back playing for Souths and the Sea Eagles in the 1960s & 1970s. Ray Stehr was a Roosters great from the 1930s & 1940s, while Justin Hodges is a back who has played for the Brisbane Broncos and the Roosters.
7 With what club did halfback Peter Sterling win 4 premiership titles in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1986?
Answer: Parramatta Eels

Known as "Sterlo", Peter Sterling did everything a player wishes to achieve in the NRL. He won multiple premierships, played 18 times for Australia from 1982 to 1988, and played 13 times for his state New South Wales from 1981 to 1988. He also won numerous medals including the Clive Churchill Medal in 1986, the Dally M Medal in 1986 and 1987, and also the Rothmans Medal in 1987 and 1990.
8 What was the score in the first ever "Anglo-Australian" Test?
Answer: 22-22

On 12 December 1908 the score in the first Test was 22-22, a draw! Dally Messenger kicked five goals.
9 This centre played for St George in the 1950s and 1960s. He captained Australia for eight of the thirty-six tests he played. With the nickname of Puff, the Magic Dragon, who is this centre?
Answer: Reg Gasnier

Reginald William Gasnier was born in Sydney in 1939. He was a skilled athlete in several sports including athletics, baseball, cricket and rugby league. In 1952, aged thirteen, he played for the NSW Schoolboy Rugby League team. By the time he left high school he was playing in the junior state squads in both rugby league and cricket. Focussing on rugby league, Reg signed with St George for the 1958 season. By 1959, Reg was a member of both the NSW and Australian teams. Success continued for Reg, captaining Australia in a test match at the young age of 23, a record at the time. Puff took part in three Kangaroo tours and won the premiership with the Dragons eight times. This was during the incredible streak of premiership victories St George enjoyed from 1956-66. Reg's dazzling career came to an abrupt end when he broke his leg playing a minor match while on tour in Europe.

After retirement Reg became a commentator, displaying a knowledge and insight to the game that could only have come from playing it. Awarded an Order of Australia Medal, he has been inducted into the Australian Sporting, and Rugby League Halls of Fame, and he was one of the first four "Immortals" of the game as selected in 1985. He is a life member of the SCG, has a plaque in the Walk of Honour, and if you'd like to see Reg, there is a bronze statue of him in the SCG grounds too. Reg passed away in 2014, one day before he would have turned 75.

Bob McCarthy is one of the legends of the Rabbitohs playing in the forwards. Steve Rogers and Andrew Ettingshausen were backs for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the 1970s and 1990s respectively.
10 With what club did Arthur Beetson appear 131 times while scoring 17 tries?
Answer: Eastern Suburbs Roosters

Arthur Beetson was an inspiration to many Indigenous Australians, giving them hope that they can become whatever they desire. He was the first Indigenous Australian to captain his country in any sport. Beetson has received numerous accolades including being named in the Indigenous Team of the Century, being named in the Australian Team of the Century, and being named one of seven immortals ever to play the game.
11 The second Test was played where?
Answer: Newcastle-on-Tyne

In January 1909, the second Test was held in Newcastle-on-Tyne. Dally Messenger captained the Australians and scored all their points. However, they lost to the "Poms", 15-5.
12 What club did Mal Meninga coach from 1997 to 2001?
Answer: Canberra Raiders

Known for his bushy eyebrows, in his playing career he managed to be the leading tryscorer, leading pointscorer, and win the Golden Boot Award all in 1990.
13 The third Test was held in Birmingham on 18 June 1909. How many points did Dally Messenger score for the Australians?
Answer: 0

Dally Messenger did not play in the third Test in the inaugural "Anglo-Australian" series.
14 With what club did winger Andrew Ettingshausen start his career in 1983?
Answer: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Andrew Ettingshausen was an amazing finisher, scoring 165 tries from 328 appearances for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. He played for Australia on 25 occassions from 1988 to 1994, and for New South Wales on 27 occasions from 1987 to 1998. In 2005, the good form he had for New South Wales made him be named as one of the 25 greatest New South Wales players ever.
15 The third Test in Sydney in 1910 was a "first" for what reason?
Answer: Australia beat Great Britain

Dally Messenger scored a try and kicked five goals to take Australia to their first win over the "Poms" in Sydney in 1910.
16 With what national team did Ruben Wiki make 55 appearances?
Answer: New Zealand

Ruben Wiki performed to his best until his retirement at age 35 in 2008. He had appeared in 2 World Cups for New Zealand and was part of the record-breaking win against Australia in 2005, where New Zealand beat Australia in a series for the first time in 52 years.
17 In the second Test in 1910, what was different about the team from "Down Under"?
Answer: They played as "Australasia"

In the second Test in 1910 the team from "Down Under" played as "Australasia" due to the inclusion of several New Zealand representatives.
18 What was the last club that Brad Fittler played with before retiring in 2004?
Answer: Sydney Roosters

He was a member of 3 World Cup winning sides with Australia in 1992, 1995, and 2000, and was also part of the Penrith Panthers in 1991 and Sydney Roosters in 2002 Premiership wins.
19 On 13 July 1910 in Sydney, Australasia beat the Great Britain side by what score?
Answer: 32 -15

Australasia scored 32 points with Dally Messenger, their brilliant captain leading by example, posting a personal tally of one try and five goals.
20 One of the second-rowers in the Australian Rugby League Team of the Century played for only two teams in his career - Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney. He also captained Australia to a World Cup win in 1970. Who is this man?
Answer: Ron Coote

Ron Coote was born a South Sydney junior in 1944, the son of an Easts forward, Jack Coote. His early football career was with Souths from 1964 to 1971. He then switched to Easts, playing for them from 1972-78. Such is the respect Ron Coote is held in, that the teams play for the Ron Coote Cup every year. Between 1965 and 1975 Ron played in nine grand finals, his team winning six times. His natural playing position was as a lock, playing this position for both teams. When it came to representative football however, that position was owned by Johnny Raper. It didn't matter as Coote's skills in defence and attack were good enough to see him play in the second-row, and good enough there to make the Team of the Century. Ron played in thirteen test matches and ten World Cup matches, playing three of them as captain.

Life after football took Ron in several directions. He became a businessman, and he was a member of the NSWRL judiciary committee. One of the best things he has been involved in is the Men of League programme. Founded in 1980 by Ron, it assists former players and officials of the game who haven't had the success he has. The programme aids people in various ways such as providing financial assistance for medical problems, mentoring players before they retire so they have a real future after football, and promoting rugby league in country areas. Like many others in the Team of the Century, Ron is a life member of the SCG, has a plaque in the Walk of Honour, and is a Member of the Order of Australia.

John Sattler, Ray Price, and Dave Brown were all forwards and all selected in the top 100 players of the century. Brown played in the 1930s, Sattler in the 1960s, and Price in the 1970s & 1980s.
21 What English Super League club did Stacey Jones play with from 2006 to 2007?
Answer: Catalans Dragons

He was named in the New Zealand Team of the Century at halfback. Jones was the first kiwi to win the Golden Boot Award in 2002.
22 On 16 December 1911 Australasia played Great Britain in the second Test of the 1911-1912 series. Where did they play?
Answer: Edinburgh

The second Test was played in Edinburgh for an 11 all draw, Australasia and Great Britain scoring three tries and one goal each.
23 With what club did Allan Langer score 100 tries?
Answer: Brisbane Broncos

He had premiership success with the Brisbane Broncos in 1992, 1993, 1997(Super League), and 1998. Langer was named at halfback for Queensland's Team of the Century.
24 When was the first Test played in Brisbane?
Answer: 1920

The first Brisbane Test was played on 23 June 1920. Australia beat Great Britain, 8-4, two tries and a goal to two goals.
25 The hooker in the Australian Rugby League's Team of the Century started off his career in Ipswich (Qld) and finished it in Wollongong (NSW) in 1970. Who is this man selected as the hooker of the century?
Answer: Noel Kelly

Born in Ispwich in 1936, Noel "Ned" Kelly started playing for Ispwich Christian Brothers in 1958. The longest playing stint of his career was with Western Suburbs Magpies from 1961 to 1969. Playing in three grand finals during his time with the Magpies, the team lost every time to the seemingly omnipotent St George Dragons. Ned made three Kangaroo tours, the first in only his second season playing first grade rugby league in 1959. During his 25 test matches he played either hooker or prop during a time considered to be rugby league's roughest and toughest. He also played three World Cup matches. Natural leadership skills saw Noel become Wests' captain-coach between 1966 and 1969. His playing career finished up with a one year contract playing for Wollongong in 1970. Coaching for three years with the North Sydney Bears followed his playing life, and then the television work for which many people remember him.

Noel has been involved in the Men of League Foundation as a board member and ambassador. The Wests Tigers award the Noel Kelly Medal to the team's best forward of the year, given in honour of possibly their greatest player.

Vic Armbruster, Bradley Clyde and Steve Walters were all forwards who were all named in the top 100 players of the century. Armbruster played in Queensland in the 1920s and 1930s. Clyde and Walters both played in the 1980s and 1990s.