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R.I.P. Graeme Changa LanglandsThe Greatest Dragon Of Them All

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R.I.P. Graeme Langlands

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St George Illawarra are deeply saddened by the passing of Dragons legend and rugby league immortal Graeme Langlands.

Following a long battle with illness, the four-time grand final winning fullback passed away in his sleep on Saturday evening. Langlands was 76.

Born in Wollongong, Langlands first came into rugby league reckoning upon being selected for the New South Wales City Firsts and subsequently NSW firsts thereafter in 1962.

Joining the Dragons in 1963, 'Changa' went on to play 227 games across 14 seasons, and to this day is the most prolific pointscorer in the club's history (1554 points – 86 tries, 648 goals).

Langlands also made his debut for Australia in 1963 and went on to play 45 Tests – the fourth-most appearances by any player in the Kangaroos' history. So skilful a player, Langlands spent the first four years of his Test career in the centres.

In 1999, Langlands joined fellow Dragons Johnny Raper and Reg Gasnier as one of rugby league's immortals. In 2008, the game's centenary, Langlands was selected on the bench in Australian Rugby League's Team of the Century.

He was also awarded a MBE for his contribution to rugby league upon his retirement from the game and inducted into Australia Sport's Hall of Fame in 1986.

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He retired in 1976 at age 34 after 235 matches (all grades) for St George. 

 

 

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Was lucky enough to see him play for Australia against Great Britain at Headingly in 1967. He scored the Aussies only try in a 16-11 defeat. Did he play for Australia in the 1974 second test at Sydney against GB,also a defeat?

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No he didn't play in that 2nd losing test for Australia. He scored a try in the 1st and 3rd winning tests for Australia in 1974.

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And in the 3Rd test became the first player to have amassed over 100 points in Anglo- Australian tests. 

Quality player 

 

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Graeme Langlands Public Tribute

The St George Illawarra Dragons and the Langlands family have announced there will be a special tribute and opportunity for the public to honour and celebrate the life of rugby league immortal Graeme Langlands at the Dragons' opening home game of the season at Jubilee Oval on Thursday, March 8.

"As a rugby league Immortal, who played and coached at the club in a career that spanned 14  seasons, it is appropriate that we provide the opportunity for fans to honour and celebrate the rugby league career of Graeme Langlands at Kogarah," Dragons CEO Peter Doust said.

"He played 227 games, holds the club point scoring record (1554), and as history shows is one of the most gifted rugby league players ever to play the game."

Langlands' daughter Monique also paid tribute to her father.

"We are devastated by the loss of dad," she said. "He fought to the very end after a very long illness, and it was a battle worthy of any champion.

"Dad was truly complete when playing the game that came so naturally to him and he loved rugby league with all his heart."

Dragons Chairman Brian Johnston also reflected on the player that was Graeme 'Changa' Langlands.

"Graeme Langlands will forever be remembered for iconic images of rugby league. He depicted in so many instances his magnificent sidestep that will forever be ingrained in the rugby league annals," Johnston said. 

"He inspired not only young kids to play rugby league but also fans to follow the game because of his magnificent competitive nature. That was not only reflected in his attacking game but also his fearless defence - which a lot of people forget about.

"One of the highest compliments paid to any player is that he was admired by opposing teams, players and supporters. Even if people weren't Dragons supporters, they'd go to games to see the famous 'Changa' play.

"From a Dragons perspective, Graeme was a brand within a brand that was synonymous with St George. You look at Provan, Gasnier, Raper and Langlands and the first thing you think of is premierships and successful people."

Dragons coach Paul McGregor acknowledged Langlands standing at the club and in the game.

"Graeme was an outstanding player. He was capable of playing multiple positions - in fact he is probably the best player ever to be able to adapt to a position. Changa was tough as nails and had the best sidestep anyone has ever seen," Dragons coach Paul McGregor said.

"On a personal note, he was always around to have a chat to as well. I was fortunate enough to cross Changa's path many a time, when I was younger and as a coach. He'd always be there telling you how it is, he didn't mince his words which was always great, and he'll be very sadly missed."

Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop acknowledged the importance of Langlands' legacy to the current Dragons squad.

"As St George Illawarra Dragons players, we understand and respect the importance of Graeme Langlands to the club's history and the legacy he leaves behind," Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop said.

"To have our Round 1 game against the Brisbane Broncos in honour of Graeme will certainly be a special occasion for not only Dragons members and supporters but also the players and fans of rugby league in general."

The funeral for family and friends of Graeme Langlands will take place in southern Sydney on Monday, January 29 with fans encouraged to attend the public tribute at Jubilee Oval on Thursday, March 8. Further details of the tribute will be announced in the coming weeks following further discussions with the Langlands family and the NRL.

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