Sport

Come on Rugby League Week, make Alfie an Immortal

Could Allan 'Alfie' Langer be the next RLW Immortal?
Could Allan 'Alfie' Langer be the next RLW Immortal? Brett Wortman

IMMORTALITY.

Only eight rugby league players have been granted it.

But former Broncos stars insist there should be a ninth...Ipswich and Broncos legend Allan Langer.

The Immortals concept is owned by Rugby League Week (RLW) magazine.

When Andrew Johns was made the eighth Immortal in 2012 a panel of 17 esteemed judges, including the four other surviving Immortals and luminaries such as Broncos coach Wayne Bennett, former first grade coach and author Roy Masters and Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren, cast their votes.

RLW editor-in-chief Martin Lenehan told the QT that Langer was on a list of 10 players considered in 2012 and was by no means out of the running to be made an Immortal in the future.

It is understood RLW will consider adding a ninth Immortal, possibly in 2016.

When they do, former Broncos Ben and Shane Walker and Gene Miles have no doubt who should get the gong.

"Alfie should be more than in the mix. I can't understand why he wouldn't be an Immortal," Ben Walker said.

"He is the most influential and best halfback I have seen in my time.

"Joey was a terrific player and I am not taking anything away from him, but if I had to pick a team and I needed a halfback Alfie would be the player I would pick.

"He played halfback (for Australia) when Joey had to play hooker, so at the time the Australian selectors obviously thought he was the best half in the country.

"He won four premierships, walked away in 1999 and came back in 2001 and won an Origin series for Queensland straight off the plane from England.

"He was an out-and-out superstar who did things on a field when the team needed it.

"Playing against Joey you didn't feel as threatened in the defensive line as you could see the opposition was feeling when Alf was either running at them or going to the line with runners.

"He was very unpredictable and unorthodox."

Walker debuted for the Broncos playing outside Langer and said "it was a massive, massive thrill".

Shane Walker insisted that Langer "changed the way halves played" with his creativity, daring-do and box of magic tricks.

But no-one could conjure the magic on demand like the little master.

"Alf should be an Immortal and I can't believe he hasn't been given Immortal status," Shane said.

"I am in no position to take anything away from Andrew Johns but I can't remember any game, head-to-head, where Andrew Johns the Immortal was ever man of the match ahead of Allan Langer.

"Alf had it over everyone he played against.

"He was a little man, a fierce competitor and he could win games from positions where the game was dead and buried and gone.

"It was so easy for him.

"I can remember games as a young guy when he would be running at the line, looking at me straight in the eyes and laughing...and then would throw me a ball.

"I remember distinctly against the Adelaide Rams him doing that and putting me straight through a gap."

Miles, who starred alongside Langer for Australia, Queensland and Brisbane said Immortality should be bestowed upon the former Norths Tigers junior.

"He'd get my vote," Miles said.

Asides from his stellar playing career, Miles said Langer changed the game's laws in ways no one else had.

"They changed the ball stealing rule because of Alf, and they changed the rules because of that ('Alfie throw') tackling technique of his.

"They changed the rugby league rules because of Alan Langer because he was so dominant and no one else could do what he was doing."

Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Arthur Beetson have statues out the front of Suncorp Stadium

"And I think Alfie should have a statue out the front too because he is on a par with those guys," Miles said.

Topics:  allan langer, broncos, nrl, rugby league




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