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February 1: Rabbitohs win the NRL, Nines double

On this day in rugby league history, two star No.9s are born, the Knights lose a World Club Challenge and Souths taste Nines glory.


Roosters hooker and co-captain Jake Friend was born in Nambour, Queensland. A one-club player who debuted for the Tricolours in 2008, Friend played in premiership-winning seasons in 2013, 2018 and 2019 and made his international debut for Australia in the 2016 Four Nations.


Former Raiders and West Tigers star Blake Austin was born in Parramatta. Austin debuted for the Panthers in 2011, playing three years for the club before lining up for the Wests Tigers in 2014 and joining the Raiders in 2015. He was named the Dally M Five-eighth of the Year after his first season in Canberra, leaving the club at the end of the 2018 season for Super League outfit Warrington. He made his international debut with Great Britain in 2019, qualifying to represent England through his grandmother.


Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes was born in Sydney. McInnes started his NRL career at South Sydney in 2014, joining St George Illawarra after three years at the Rabbitohs. McInnes was named the Dragons' player of the year in 2019, having topped the league for tackles made per game.

Cameron McInnes in focus


Long-serving Queensland administrator and 1973 Kangaroo manager Albert Bishop died in Brisbane aged 85.


The Bradford Bulls continued the outstanding record of British teams in the World Club Challenge with a commanding 41-26 defeat of an error-riddled Newcastle Knights in Huddersfield.


Parramatta’s first international, Ian Johnston, passed away on the NSW Central Coast at the age of 85.


Reigning NRL premiers South Sydney claimed their second piece of silverware in four months by winning the final of the Auckland Nines at Eden Park. A golden try to retired winger Matt King hands Souths an 18-14 victory over Cronulla in the final. Souths win $370,000 prizemoney.


Melbourne's Kiwi Test forward Tohu Harris signed a four-year deal with the Warriors, commencing in 2018.