There is no denying the Rabbitohs are a Club with a great history full of great players. The team at Rabbitohs.com.au have put our heads together to look back and name, in our opinion, the Top 5 Players of each decade from the 1950s to the 2000s.
Here are our Top 5 Players of the 1960s - Let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!
5) Michael Cleary
A pacey winger with a clinical finish, Cleary represented Australia in three different sports during his remarkable sporting career. Joining Souths with his Wallaby three-quarter partner Jim Lisle, Cleary became the choice winger throughout the 1960s, winning three premierships in 1967, 1968 and 1970. Cleary’s length of the field try in the 1968 Grand Final win over Manly was indicative of the speed he produced when given a little space on the football field.
|Born||30 April 1940|
|Club Points||260 (86 Tries, 1 Goal)|
|Representative Honours||9 Matches For NSW, 8 Tests For Australia|
|Representative Points||15 (5 Tries)|
4) Ron Coote
The ‘Prince Of Locks’ - Ron Coote became a Souths Legend through his devastating cover defence, “round-the-legs” tackling technique and great running style. Coote fast became the bane of opposition attacks playing against the Rabbitohs with his ability to hunt down fast opponents, cutting them down from behind in decisive fashion, denying countless tries in the process. Coote was a key member of the champion Souths sides that won the 1967-68 & 1970-71 Grand Finals. Coote was a seasoned international that captained Australia to a 1970s World Cup win over Great Britain.
|Born||25 October 1944|
|Club Points||144 (48 Tries)|
|Representative Honours||13 Matches For NSW, 13 Tests For Australia|
|Representative Points||39 (13 Tries)|
3) Eric Simms
This superlative goal-kicker set many points-scoring records during his Souths career and he still holds a number of these to this day. He is regarded as one of the greatest goal kickers in Rugby league. Simms played in five consecutive Grand Finals from 1967-71 and guided the Club to victory in 1967 with a late goal in our Grand Final win over Canterbury. He repeated this feat in 1970 against Manly. Simms left Souths as the greatest point-scorer in the history of this Club. Ron Coote has said that Simms' kicking ability was a combination of talent and hard work: "Eric would get to training and stand on the halfway line and Clive Churchill would stand under the posts. Eric would practice field goals from halfway one after the other for half an hour. Bang, bang, bang straight over. He hardly ever missed."
|Born||2 August 1945|
|Club Points||1841 (23 Tries, 803 Goals, 86 Field Goals)|
|Representative Honours||1 Match For NSW, 8 Caps For Australia|
|Representative Points||101 (1 Try, 39 Goals, 1 Field Goal)|
2) John Sattler
The legend of the 1970 Grand Final, Sattler is the model for toughness and resilience that Souths has become synonymous with. This heroic moment has been heralded as one of the game’s most inspirational moments but Sattler’s influence at Souths goes well beyond that moment. After a rocky start due to his fiery brand of football, Sattler selection as Captain was the turning point in the burly props career. Souths played in five straight Grand Finals under his leadership – winning four. One of the hardmen of Australian rugby league 'Satts' was an aggressive player on the field but a softly spoken gentleman off the field.
|Born||28 July 1942|
|Club Points||36 (12 Tries)|
|Representative Honours||4 Matches For NSW, 3 Matches for QLD, 4 Tests For Australia|
1) Bob McCarthy
The advent of limited tackle football in 1967 saw Bob McCarthy revolutionise the role of the second row forward. While most back-rowers were content to stay in tight and make their runs close to the ruck McCarthy was one of the first forwards to stand wide and make his devastating bursts out in the centres. A scorer of over 100 tries for Souths, Club captain John Sattler rated McCarthy the greatest blind-side forward in the world. Under the guidance of coach Clive Churchill McCarthy was given greater freedom to skirt wide (his memorable intercept try that turned the tide of the 1967 grand final came from his unorthodox positioning on the field). International selectors were slow to recognise his talent, he made his test debut for the Kangaroos in 1969 and went on to captain Australia.
|Born||5 August 1946|
|Club Points||304 (101 Tries, 1 Field Goal)|
|Representative Honours||10 Matches For NSW, 10 Tests For Australia|
|Representative Points||39 (13 Tries)|
Special Mention: John O'Neill
O’Neill, a rugged Gunnedah prop, played in five Grand Finals for Souths and won all but one. A ferocious defender who fearlessly took on the opposition with barging runs close to the ruck, O’Neill’s toughness and solidity earned him the moniker of ‘Lurch’. After losing the 1965 Grand Final to St George, Souths assumed the mantle of League champions in the ensuing years with O’Neill going on to win grand finals in 1967-68 & 1970-71 with the club. In the 1970 Grand Final he mercilessly punished the Manly forwards in an awesome display that earned him a place in Australia’s World Cup squad.
|Born||9 May 1943|
|Club Points||33 (11 Tries)|
|Representative Honours||5 Matches For NSW, 10 Tests For Australia|
|Representative Points||6 (2 Tries)|