I didn’t need that. I enjoyed Halifax. One early memory I have was beating the 1967 Kangaroos 22-3. Height: 6ft 8” Weight: 313lbs/142kg. A tenacious tackler and a menace at the breakdown, Maggie "The Machine" Alphonsi is one of the finest flankers England has ever produced. From this list, a limited panel of experts picked a "Team of the Century" - a team of 17 players considered to be the best Australian players of all time. Summer football is much better. A big-hitting, hard-carrying No.6, Teague was voted Man of the Series on the brutal 1989 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia. How did you deal with them? RR: How did you find being a player-coach when you returned to Castleford? From the loose cannons who start swinging punches at the slightest provocation to the silent assassins who relish putting in game-changing hits, every rugby team has its on-field enforcers. JONNY MAY – England – 10.71 SECONDS (100M) The speedster clocked 10.71 for the 100 metres. I had problems with one journalist and when my son was born, the Mirror’s headline was something like “Baby Boy Born to the Monster!”. I had to get the best out of him. MR: I had a very good relationship with most, but they used to highlight aspects of my play. I was young and raw and didn’t like being called a Pommy bastard. MR: In the first training session they left a lot to be desired, so I pulled them into the office one by one and went through my expectations. Edwin Maka is an absolute beast, and at just 21 years of age weighs over 140kg. The former British Army officer could throw a decent punch too — just ask Danny Cipriani. I knew they didn’t like Pommies. Edwin Maka. I’d been playing soccer, but one day the bus didn’t turn up, so I got on the rugby bus. But that’s exactly what Winterbottom did with the British and Irish Lions in 1983 and 1993. She shook her head and left the plane, but they eventually got me in Sydney. Rugby: 'A genuine hard man' - Referee Nigel Owens picks All Blacks legend Richie McCaw as the hardest player he's ever come across 28 Oct, 2020 01:00 AM 3 minutes to read Never took a backwards step. I was lucky that we had so many great players and in Maurice Lindsay, I had a very supportive manager. We reckon he's pretty proud of that (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images), Even as a coach Richard Cockerill looks pretty damn scary (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images), When Maggie Alphonsi tackled an opponent they stayed tackled (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images), Fran Cotton (in the foreground) with a speck of mud in his eye (Photo by Adrian Murrell/Getty Images), Brian Moore loved winding up his opponents. RR: Did you experience much ‘Pommy-bashing’ when you first played for Manly? Have you been vindicated? In late 2007, the Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League commissioned 130 experts to select the 100 best rugby league players in the game's 100-year history in Australia. You didn‘t need to wrestle with the five-metre rule. I knew if I gave him a dressing down all the time it wouldn’t work. Known as the Terminator, Collins was one of the toughest players to ever step onto the field, ensuring his opponents knew when they’d been hit by The Terminator. It is, without doubt, one of the toughest sports to play. In 1973, hooker Pullin famously captained England against Ireland, in Dublin, at the height of The Troubles. RR: Knee injuries affected most of your career. “We may not be any good,” he joked at the post-match function, “but at least we turn up”. The New Zealander was voted the best Rugby League player at the annual RLIF Awards in 2013. MR: It was great because while I was on the field, I could ensure the game plan went as intended. The hardship fund will be administered by the independent charity RL Cares, who will award grants to help players deal with their most pressing financial difficulties. Rugby, Rugby League, Australian Rules, and American Football. His 19 year career saw him score 416 tries, including 20 for Great Britain. He simply wore them down, scrum after remorseless scrum, until they couldn’t take anymore. So the players used to make a tunnel for me pitchside so nobody could serve me with the papers. Of the four, rugby is neither the fastest, longest, toughest, or most skilful. ”-julianwhite — Lewis Moody (@LewisMoody7) August 15, 2013. His hard-man reputation preceded him in a career that saw him win showpiece finals with Castleford and Manly. Enough said. Never far from trouble, "The Blackpool Tower" was a regular fixture in the England second row from 1985 to 1993. I quickly realised that I would rather be on the field doing some damage to opponents than in the changing room with Derek doing some damage to me. The modern players are a different beast, incredibly fit, athletic and strong and there’s no doubt that the hits are as hard, if not harder than ever. Take a look at our rogues’ gallery of English rugby hard-nuts and see how many you recognise. But we made up. Whisper these names quietly, lest you stir their mighty anger - these are the 15 hardest players at the Rugby World Cup. A multi-talented player who has already represented both the Jillaroos and PNG Orchids, there are few who go close to footing it with Kuk when she hits the gas, a point she displayed on a number of occasi… RR: You also coached Leeds and Halifax before you went back to Australia. I was also coaching Great Britain and working for a brewery, so I had three jobs. Renowned for his relentless work-rate, he was the consummate open-side. Two years later, I won the Lance Todd at Wembley. RR: You came home to coach Huddersfield. You could express yourself physically, but you had to be mentally prepared. It’s all about slowing the ruck. MR: Johnny Whiteley was coach of the successful 1970 touring party, so he is right up there. Never one to shy away from a challenge, the pugnacious Leicester hooker famously stood toe-to-toe with opposite number Norm Hewitt during the Haka in 1997. What’s more, she did it the hard way, playing prop. It takes a special player to earn the New Zealand public’s respect, especially when you’re wearing the number 7 shirt. 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Hanley was as versatile a player as you would ever hope to find, yet he managed to excel in almost every position on the pitch. But we went on to win the Grand Final in 1997. Both were complex characters. “@Rugbyworldmag: We’re having a discussion in the office: who is the hardest rugby player you’ve ever seen play? Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leeds Rhinos players: Pages in category "Leeds Rhinos players" The following 200 pages are in this category, out of approximately 485 total. Andrew Sheridan has announced retirement following some medical grounds. His last fight was in Feb of 2013 but he has postponed his boxing career to focus on rugby. These warriors don't let a torn shirt (or even a broken face) stop them from staying on the field (Photo - David Rogers/Allsport/Getty Images), If your nickname's Buster you aren't to be messed with (Photo - David Rogers/Allsport), Mike Burton (left) was the first English player to get sent off at international level. He may have been sin-binned regularly, but he was there, we’re sure, for standing up for his mates. It was a challenge, but the players could walk away after games and be proud of what they’d achieved. He’d said to me on the plane, “How do you think you’ll enjoy playing in the second row?” But in the end, it was Doug who played there, with me in the loose-forward role we had competed for. Cotton was a versatile prop who could play on both sides of the scrum, and a pioneer in terms of strength and conditioning. He had a football brain and a great kicking game – the complete package. With Cockers in that sort of mood, England might have just edged it in an all-out brawl. See Monday’s League Express for the second part of Alex Murphy’s Rugby League Heroes interview, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), They will miss the play-offs but they will avoid relegation, The Forbidden Game - The Untold Story of French Rugby League, RUGBY LEAGUE HEROES | The hardest player of his generation, Watch Rugby League Back Chat (Show 27) on TotalRL.com now →. 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Derek Turner at Castleford toughened me up as a player. Lofty praise. Former Papua New Guinea rugby sevens representative A brilliant athlete oozing pace and evasive running, Kuk is the type of player who turns half chances into four-pointers and constantly puts opposing defensive lines under duress. I knew if they were going to do anything, they had to improve. That makes us love him even more (Photo - Dave Rogers/Allsport), Lewis Moody was called Mad Dog although we doubt anyone said it to his face (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images), John Pullin carrying a hay bale. A tighthead prop known for his destructive scrummaging, Julian White had a notoriously short fuse, once flooring fellow England prop Andrew Sheridan with a single punch. But the depth and quality weren’t there. They’re the players who strike fear into their opponents and have referees reaching for their pocket — and England has produced some of the best in the business. RR: How did the Newcastle Knights players take to you, given that you criticised their fitness levels as soon as you started there? Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey concedes Canberra counterpart Joey Leilua is arguably the hardest player to tackle in the NRL right now. I don’t do much cardio but they’re fine for what I do. I’ve been to the gym this morning. Sonny Bill Williams ( New Zealand ) (Image: Alex Livesey) 07. The 60s, 70s and 80s remain what was the golden era of Australian Rugby League, certainly when we’re talking about these brutal encounters. Banned by the RFU following the fiery Wales v England encounter in 1987, he later gave as good as he got against a thuggish Eastern Province pack on England’s 1994 tour of South Africa. MR: Yes, but I think that’s what made me mentally tough. No punches or kicks required, just a punishingly low scrummaging technique that few could live with. He is an elite class powerlifter being able to bench press 225 kilograms and squat 275 kilograms. One of my last games saw Peter Sterling accuse me of eye-gouging, but I didn’t intentionally do anything. But the game in Australia is almost the national sport and they had plenty of high-quality players themselves. RR: How were you treated by the media? If they don't want to give you your ball back we suggest you let them keep it. Why didn’t it work out for you there? So who are the fastest-ever players to grace the field in the 13-player game? Kicking, stamping, biting, punching: you name it, Danny got done for it. Tough doesn’t even come close. Not only is he a force on the rugby field he is also a heavyweight boxer with a 6-0 record with three wins by knock out. Stranded Toronto Wolfpack players plead for help from RFL and Super League after third month without pay. There are certain things we say that annoy the rest of the country - but we're not sure why! Winner of six Grand Slams and a Rugby World Cup, the fact she was born with a club foot makes her achievements all the more remarkable. He didn’t smoke or drink, but I once had to send him home, as an example because you had to have discipline in your squad. The directors were having too much influence. A big, burly number eight, what he lacked in athleticism he made up for in pure rugby nous and sheer bloody mindedness. MR: We did, but you just have to live with the fact that we came up short. Anyone prepared to trade blows with Samoa’s Alesana Tuilagi clearly has a few screws loose. With the ten, the defence has to slow the attacking team with wrestling, so there are three in the tackle. Just don’t get him started on crooked scrum feeds. Danny Grewcock. A karate black belt standing 6ft 6ins tall and weighing over 18 stone, Bath and England lock Danny Grewcock was the stuff of nightmares for his opponents. 9. RR: You had some legal issues on the tour, didn’t you? MR: They’re titanium now and they’re great! Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size. As well as coaches, I’d mention my schoolteacher Roy Close at Ashton Road Secondary Modern. MR: We lost the first Test miserably at Lang Park and Johnny would probably say he picked the wrong side. He was formerly the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion and Wo The Leicester lock and Lions legend was no stranger to the sin-bin, a punch on Saracens’ Robbie Russell one of many red-mist moments. There will be many shapes and sizes at the Rugby World Cup, but these are the players who have illustrated that they are the 'hardest' of them all 9.Martin Johnson. Paul Woods was one of the roughest, toughest, most notorious rugby players of his generation. There were nice people at Leeds and the chairman was a cracking guy. With violence that would never be tolerated off the footy field, the game has always been rough, tough and dangerous. From the loose cannons who start swinging punches at the slightest provocation to the silent assassins who relish putting in game-changing hits, every rugby team has its on-field enforcers. RR: What would you change about the modern game? Wide World of Sports reports a number of young players … MR: Yes, but I was provoked on both occasions. He had a lot of bad habits. He was a tremendous player. But those past times represent a memorable period in time when as many fists were flung as tries scored. RR: You came so close to winning the Ashes and the World Cup with Great Britain. The hardest of all the hard men of league Vince Karalius, 1932-2008. The standing ovation he received said it all. The ranks of rugby league around the world have been liberally peppered with hardmen. We had a skinny five, but we had good offensive football. How did they compare? We wouldn't want to play against them, you wouldn't want to play against them...a quick look at our Top 5 hardest rugby players. The only English captain to lift the Rugby World Cup, Martin Johnson had many skills but turning the other cheek wasn’t one of them. I couldn’t be at loggerheads with the best player. Nicknamed "Rocky", but Clarke wasn’t a fighter — just an old-school, tungsten-tough competitor. So I would get his brother Matthew and Paul Harragon to look after him. He gave his best all the time, although there were some who didn’t. The most capped England player of all time, Rugby World Cup winner Rochelle Clarke made a staggering 137 appearances for her country. A seriously tough customer. RR: What was it like coming into the Castleford team as a teenager? You don’t want to be wading through muddy and wet fields. A true master of the dark arts, he went on to become a citing commissioner for the RFU: a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper. He grabbed me and drew his fist back and I took two paces backwards – a wise thing to do! 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