Origin Greats: Who are the best wingers?

RUGBY league greats Wally Lewis and Benny Elias have agreed to renew their rivalry - by selecting their greatest State of Origin sides.

But there's a catch: they'll name teams from opposing states, with Lewis naming his best NSW Origin side and Elias selecting his all-time best Queensland team.

The Origin Greats countdown started yesterday.

Each day (except Sundays) leading up to Origin One on May 27, we'll focus on one position, list the selection options and spark debate on who Lewis and Elias might pick.

You are able vote on your favourite option on our website each day for each position.

The public poll results and the picks of Lewis and Elias will run in print and online on game day, May 27.

Slater or Inglis? Daley or Fittler? Who will the legends pick?

It's being done as a tribute to the greatest sporting institution in this country.


Yesterday we kicked off the series by voting on the fullbacks. Today we are going to look at the wingers.


Dual international Michael O'Connor was a magician on his feet and could kick goals from anywhere under any conditions as he proved many times.

He made his debut on a wet Lang Park in 1985 and signalled his arrival with two tries and five goals to score all of NSW's 18 points. 

While O'Connor was dynamic on his feet Eric Grothe snr would scatter defenders like ten pins.

A dynamic ball carrier, there have been fewer harder players to bring down at full flight than "The Guru".

Illawarra's Rod Wishart was a constant thorn to the Queenslanders and he loved pulling on the sky blue jumper which he did 22 times scoring five tries.

Jarryd Hayne gets a dual nomination as a fullback/winger and could easily fill either position with his speed, strength and evasive attacking skills. There are few better kick returners than Hayne.

"Madog" MacDougall was just an angry man and he always turned up to play for NSW.

He had some memorable tussles with Queensland rival Wendell Sailor with both men claiming the overall honours.

Vote: Who did Wally pick as the best Blues winger? Click on the poll to consider all options.


The role has evolved so much over recent  years since the days of Kerry Boustead, an absolute flyer and for someone with such a small stature a tremendous  defender.

Over the years the bigger wingers like Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri came along and stamped their mark on Origin.

Sailor played 14 games on the wing for Queensland but is often reminded he only got across the try line once although if you ask him he will tell you he was unlucky not to score many more.

Darius Boyd has been a big contributor to the Maroons playing on the wing scoring 15 tries.

On that score along he is difficult to dismiss.

The other strong contender is Rowdy Shearer, a wonderful athlete blessed with speed and a sidestep that left many players bewildered and stranded.

Shearer was always injured around Origin time but made many miraculous recoveries and legend has it he would always phone the selectors ahead of the series to tell them he was right to play which he did 26 times scoring 12 tries for the Maroons.

Michael Hancock was regarded as one of the hardest men in the game to tackle. Apart from being deceptively strong and exceptional quick, Hancock had a dislike of being tackled that made him very aggressive.

Vote: Who did Benny pick as the best Maroons winger? Click on the poll to consider all options.

Click here to vote on the fullbacks

Did we miss any other worthy wingers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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