Bennett reveals who he’d back for next Immortal
ENGLAND and Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett strongly believes St George legend Norm Provan should be announced as the ninth Immortal.
Bennett's comments come after NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg confirmed at The Courier-Mail's Fox League launch on Tuesday that a ninth inductee would be named in 2018.
The Immortals concept is something dear to Bennett, with the coach a member of the 17-man judging panel when Andrew Johns was named as the eighth inductee back in 2012.
"I've thought about it often. I don't know of anyone in the game that did more than Norm Provan ever did," Bennett said.
"He was apart of 10 premierships. We all like to win one. He won 10 as a player.
"He was a great guy in the game.
"Our premiership trophy is named after him and Arthur Summons.
"I don't know what more you have to do to become an Immortal.
"Imagine back in the 50s and 60s - if these guys are superstars today - what he must've been.
"He played for Australia, he went on to coach and anyone that knows him, he's an outstanding man.
"He epitomises what the game's about to me and he can't get a look in."
Queensland duo Darren Lockyer and Mal Meninga are considered the heavy favourites join the most elite company in the game.
North Queensland coach Paul Green was also asked for his opinion, but admitted he'd like to see the criteria around the concept before making judgment.
"I hate when people ask how does this player compare to another player who played a generation ago," Green said.
"It's really hard to give a balanced opinion until you see them play against each other.
"Having some transparency around what it takes to be an Immortal is going to be a good thing because everyone can get their head around what they look for before they select those players.
"A couple of modern-day players who I've had a little bit to do with and watched play, 'Locky' and Mal Meninga are two names that come together.
"But to back up Wayne's point, there were some wonderful players who played through the 60s and 70s.
"The first step is looking at the criteria, but it'd be a really tough choice to make."
The next player inducted will be the first since the NRL bought the intellectual property for the concept after Rugby League Week shut down in 2017.
THE EIGHT IMMORTALS
Clive Churchill (1981)
Bob Fulton (1981)
Reg Gasnier (1981)
Johnny Raper (1981)
Graeme Langlands (1999)
Wally Lewis (1999)
Arthur Beetson (2003)
Andrew Johns (2012)