Group Three Hall of Fame induction

Hall of fame members Garry McQuillan from Forster (left), Kevin Hardy from Taree and Errol Ruprecht from Taree at the induction evening held earlier this year.
Hall of fame members Garry McQuillan from Forster (left), Kevin Hardy from Taree and Errol Ruprecht from Taree at the induction evening held earlier this year.

THE seventh induction for the Group Three Rugby League Hall of Fame (HOF) will be held at the Wingham Services Club on Friday November 29.

The HOF was launched in 2013. It is to honour those who played the majority of their football in Group Three or had a significant impact on the competition.

Potential inductees can be nominated by current clubs or by the general public. Players whose clubs are no longer part of Group Three are still eligible for the HOF.

There are a number of inductees from Gloucester, even though the Magpies now play in a Hunter-based competition, others from the now defunct Taree Old Bar and Taree United clubs.

The group keeps all the nominations and they are reviewed each year by the judging panel as part of the selection process.

It has been the custom to induct four players each year and this will again be the case on November 29. Players have to be retired before they will be considered for the HOF.

The most recent inductees were Gary Bridge, Keith Tull, Barrie Morrison and Barrie Smith.

Former test prop Steve 'Blocker' Roach was the special guest at the sixth hall of fame induction, supporting his team-mate from their Balmain Tigers days, Gary Bridge. Bridge was one of four players inducted on the night.

Former test prop Steve 'Blocker' Roach was the special guest at the sixth hall of fame induction, supporting his team-mate from their Balmain Tigers days, Gary Bridge. Bridge was one of four players inducted on the night.

Bridge played with Taree United and Wingham and represented Country Seconds before carving out successful career in Sydney. He has been heavily involved in senior and junior rugby league since returning to Taree.

Tull, a centre, was a successful captain-coach of the Gloucester Magpies in the 1950s and is credited with laying the foundation for powerful teams that dominated the then Group 18 competition in the 1950s and 60s.

Morrison was an at time controversial front rower who played with Taree Old Bar, Taree United, Wingham and Gloucester during a long career. He also represented North Coast.

Smith played with Camden Haven and Wauchope and served on the Group Three executive for more than 30 years as chief executive, president and treasurer.

Former international prop and now Fox Sports commentator Steve 'Blocker' Roach, a team-mate of Bridge's during his days at Balmain, was the guest speaker at the induction night.

Tony Paskins from Forster-Tuncurry, Warren Kimberley from Wauchope, Taree's Kevin Hardy and Wally Sneeden from Taree and Wauchope were the four original inductees in 2013.

The hall of fame induction is run by Group Three Rugby League and the Mid North Coast committee of the Men of League Foundation.

For further information of the hall of fame contact Group Three chief executive Mal Drury on 0427 643 280.

Meanwhile, the annual meeting of Group Three Rugby League will be held at the Wingham Services Club on Sunday November 10.

This will start at 10am.