Sign in to follow this  
Manfred Mann

Why hasn't Great Britain produced a great full back?

Recommended Posts

Great Britain has produced a few good full backs, for example the Welshman and rugby union convert Jonathan Davies. But in my opinion it has not produced a great full back.  By great full back I mean an outstanding attacker and defender, whose feats in attack and defence could change the course of a game.  Australia has produced several great full backs, most notably in Billy Slater, Graeme Langlands, and, it appears, probably in Slater's national successor James Tedesco. New Zealand's current custodian, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, who was awarded the NRL's Dally M medal in 2018, appears to be on the verge of greatness. Like Slater, RT-S is a brilliant, speedy, side stepping attacker, with a powerful defence that has saved almost certain tries. It is notable that he happened to win the Dally M in the final year of Slater's glittering career. 

 

But who in the history of Great Britain full backs can compare with the above examples? Sam Tomkins was once a candidate in waiting for "greatness," whose career, especially since his venture with the New Zealand Warriors, has not quite lived up to expectations and the hype. In the long bygone years that Great Britain dominated international rugby league it was the forwards and halves who stood out, not the full backs.

Why is this the case?

Edited by Manfred Mann
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Lydon, Chris Radlinski, Ken Gowers, Derek Whitehead, Steve Hampson, Gary Connolly.....

  • Like 6
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim Sullivan

Still holds records today and a member of the inaugural Hall of Fame. A true holder of the overused term 'legend'...

J._Sullivan_-_Wigan.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wigan, Saints and Leeds have all tended to go for overseas fullbacks recently - and good luck getting selected if you don't wear the right club shirt 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Joe Lydon, Chris Radlinski, Ken Gowers, Derek Whitehead, Steve Hampson, Gary Connolly.....

I specified great in attack and defence, not just good in one or the other or both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

O dear. for me full back has always been one of our strongest positions, Modern times: Radlinski, Wellens, Tomkins.

Davies, Keith Mumby (of course) Mick Burke, Joe Lydon etc etc. Half backs though......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Radlinski? Wellens? In the same breath as Billy Slater, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Tedesco, Graeme Langlands? 

Please get serious. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How soon people forget....Chris Radlinski was one of the best of all time - remember when the RFU were all over him to go to the dark side? He would have got into the Australian team no problem, his ( more or less) replacement for GB was Wellens - very underrated at the time and especially now - Great great player. - so there is 20 years covered.

Even the past 10 years (mainly) Tomkins has been a very good player- not a great but I am still happy to pay good money to watch him.

So original poster- your point is??

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prekkie was class, i'd have him over that cheating grub slater all day long.

Best FB I ever defensive wise I've seen was Kemble 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

Radlinski? Wellens? In the same breath as Billy Slater, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Tedesco, Graeme Langlands? 

Please get serious. 

You need to know your sporting history.

The skill set these wonderful players have is totally different to the past eras. Unlimited tackles and the pitches of old you needed a great boot and kicking skills and good defence, attacking skills only can be used when you had the ball. Don't decry the past players who made our game ,there were some top fullbacks of the game in a time tgeir skillset was required. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

I specified great in attack and defence, not just good in one or the other or both.

Out of interest, MM, what is your objection to the sextet that John M puts forward?  In each case, how do you rate them in each of defence and attack (I take your point that the great full backs excel at both)?  Do you not class Jim Sullivan and Gus Risman as 'great' fullbacks?  If not, why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed ,If you’re gonna make sweeping statements you need a full historical grasp of what  you’re talking about 

Edited by DavidM
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BJW said:

George Fairbairn ?

As a boy I got his autograph at Bramley when they played Wigan in the first division. He was the most famous autograph I got. 

Widnes had some good full backs that era also. David Eckersley was one of the first to add an attacking game tothe traditional role. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Manfred Mann said:

Radlinski? Wellens? In the same breath as Billy Slater, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Tedesco, Graeme Langlands? 

Please get serious. 

Kris Radlinski yes, he’s the best we’ve produced in the Super League era.

Paul Wellens, no. Tomkins and Hardaker are better full backs.

Jack Walker has the potential to be a great, Ashton Golding will be a decent Super League full back.

With these 2, as well as Hardaker, that’s 3 full backs Leeds have produced in only a few years. It’s about time other Super League clubs started pulling their weight.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Martin Ryan, the player who changed the full back's game to what it is today! From the game whereby the fb stayed at the back Martin started linking up with the threequarters. He played in an Ashes winning series.

A great player and the man who changed Rugby League for the better forever.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Manfred Mann said:

Radlinski? Wellens? In the same breath as Billy Slater, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Tedesco, Graeme Langlands? 

Please get serious. 

Tedesco and RTS being truly ‘ great ‘ fullbacks at present isn’t serious .

Edited by DavidM
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


League Express - Online Now

League Express - Every Monday




League Express - Online Now

Rugby League World - Issue 453 - Out Now