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 1980s - Let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!
5) Ian Roberts
A Souths Junior, described by Jack Gibson as ‘the best front rower in the game’ by the age of 21, Roberts would claim the 1987 Dally M Prop of the Year for his devastating play. He would make his representative debut for City Origin while at the Rabbitohs before his move to Manly.
|Born||31 July 1965|
|Club Points||20 (5 Tries)|
|Representative Honours||5 Matches for City Origin, 9 Matches For NSW, 13 Tests For Australia|
|Representative Points||12 (3 Tries)|
4) Craig Coleman
Cheeky, irrepressible halfback played a record 297 games in all games with Souths. Coleman was a tyro behind the scrumbase; able to mobilise his forwards with sharp passing and providing great service to his outside backs. His heart was always at Souths and after retiring he returned to the club as a lower grade coach before taking over from Steve Martin midway through 1998. Coleman was at the helm of the Rabbitohs when we were excluded from the 2000 NRL competition and fought for two years for the right to be included in the premiership competition. It was only fitting then, when Souths returned in 2002, that Coleman was back as first grade coach.
|Born||31 January 1963|
|Club Points||104 (24 Tries, 8 Field Goals)|
3) Phil Blake
Blake was a brilliant prospect, possessing a perfect chip-kick, with great anticipation and positional play. Between 1987 and 1990, Blake had opposition teams clutching at thin air as he repeatedly showed up defences with his outrageous ability to chip over the top and score. Blake was instrumental in Souths winning the minor premiership in 1989 – A year in which he was named the Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year for his efforts. A Rugby League journeyman who represented several clubs always had fond memories of his times at Redfern; “I was very fortunate to find a club like Souths. Not only did my football improve a hundred percent, but myself as a person improved and it opened my eyes up to another side of Sydney that I had never seen before,” said Blake.
|Born||24 November 1963|
|Club Points||170 (37 Tries, 8 Goals, 6 Field Goals)|
|Representative Honours||1 Match for NSW City, 1 Matches For NSW|
2) Les Davidson
Fiery Dubbo forward made his mark with Souths before being chosen for the 1986 Kangaroo tour. Davidson played in 14 matches on tour, including the Third Test against Great Britain (as a reserve), as well as two Tests against France. In 1987 he played in all four State of Origin matches, was chosen in the one-off Test against NZ in Brisbane and was named ‘Dally M’ Player's Player of the Year. A consistent performer for Souths during the club's heady days in the late 1980s.
|Born||3 April 1963|
|Club Points||20 (5 Tries)|
|Representative Honours||5 Matches for NSW, 5 Caps For Australia|
|Representative Points||4 (1 Try)|
1) Mario Fenech
One of the most whole-hearted players to play club football, many people still wonder how the durable hooker/forward did not win a Test jersey during his career. Fenech was chosen in two President's XIII sides (against Papua New Guinea in 1985 and Great Britain in 1988) and represented NSW but Test honours eluded him. Fenech's early career was plagued by a hot-headed temperament (few can forget his duels with opposing hooker Ben Elias) but Souths' coach George Piggins appointed the firebrand hooker captain (echoes of John Sattler) with great results. Fenech took on the role with great pride and maturity, taking the club to the minor premiership in 1989.
|Born||11 November 1962|
|Club Points||73 (18 Tries, 1 Field Goal)|
|Representative Honours||1 Match for City Origin, 2 Matches For NSW|
Special Mention: Robert 'Rocky' Laurie
The inaugural Dally M Player of the Year in 1980, this talented centre/five-eighth played some of his best football with Souths between 1978 and 1980.
Another Special Mention: Mark Ellison
Goal-kicking phenomenon, 65 games for Souths and with 378 points to his name (10 Tries, 165 Goals and 8 Field Goals). But really, how about this classic hit?