True Blues Danny Buderus and Michael Cronin, and Rugby League Immortals Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown, were inducted into the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame tonight in a glittering ceremony at The Star Event Centre in Pyrmont.
The True Blues dinner, which pays homage to the players who have pulled on the sky blue jumper and celebrates both past and present representative teams, also included the Westpac NSW Blues and Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues being presented to the almost 500-strong guests.
“The True Blues dinner is a wonderful event which provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous contribution that has been made to the state by players who have pulled on the sky blue jumper,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
“It is always heartening to see so many great players rubbing shoulders together on the night and recall the great times they had playing for NSW and building a legacy.
“NSW has two great teams it should be proud of in the Westpac NSW Blues and Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues, and it was fitting they were both presented to the crowd tonight.
“I am confident they will both give a good account of themselves this year and I look forward to the State of Origin series commencing for both teams.”
Buderus, who is an assistant to Westpac NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, and Cronin both attended the dinner to receive their honours and took part in a panel discussion on stage to recall their memories of pulling on the sky blue jumper.
Fittler and Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder also appeared on stage to discuss their respective representative campaigns for 2023.
Buderus made his State of Origin debut for NSW in 2002 and was unchallenged as Blues hooker for seven consecutive series. He was a pillar of the Blues’ triple series triumph from 2003-05 and captained the team in 15 games (2004-08).
Cronin pulled on his first NSW jersey in 1973, the same year he was chosen to tour with the Kangaroos and for the next decade he was a fixture in leading representative teams.
He helped ensure that the Blues kept the Maroons at bay in interstate football during the 1970s, winning 17 and drawing two of his 19 games played under the old interstate residency rules. All up Cronin appeared 27 times for the Blues and scored 192 points.
The NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame now features 29 players, including the Rugby League Immortals who represented NSW. Messenger, Burge and Brown achieved Immortal status recently with the NRL and have subsequently been included with the original inductees.
The eligibility criteria for the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame is determined by a selection committee including True Blues Ian Schubert and Bob McCarthy, Rugby League historian David Middleton and leading Rugby League journalist Andrew Webster.
The qualification for the Hall of Fame is:
(a) The player must have played 10 games or more for NSW; or, alternatively, the player must have captained NSW; AND
(b) The player must also have played for Australia; AND
(c) The player must also have been retired for at least five seasons.
Click here for the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame inductees.