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Johnathan Thurston at the 2015 grand final.

On this day, Johnathan Thurston wins the grand final for the Cowboys, Jason Taumalolo says he'll play for Tonga and Wests win their first premiership.


Wests win their maiden premiership title after beating St George 27-2 in the game's first official grand final. The NSWRL admits the season finished too late after just 12,178 fans attend.


Premiers Canberra are swamped by a talented Widnes side 30-18 in the World Club Challenge match at Old Trafford, Manchester.


Federal Court judges, justices John Lockhart, Ronald Sackville and John von Doussa unanimously overturn Justice Burchett's Super League ban, freeing the way for Super League to launch a 10-team competition in 1997. The Australian Rugby League vow to appeal to the High Court.

Former Brisbane and Queensland forward Tonie Carroll.
Former Brisbane and Queensland forward Tonie Carroll. ©NRL Photos


Tonie Carroll is on track to become the first player since Bill Kelly in 1914 to represent both New Zealand and Australia in rugby league after being named in Australia's Tri-Nations squad.


Penrith name their greatest team at a 40th-anniversary dinner. The team: Rhys Wesser; Bob Landers, Grahame Moran, Ryan Girdler, Alan McIndoe; Brad Fittler, Greg Alexander; Terry Geary, Royce Simmons, Tim Sheens, John Cartwright, Bill Ashurst, Colin van der Voort. Interchange: Craig Gower, Brad Izzard, Mark Geyer, Tony Puletua.

Israel Folau in 2007.
Israel Folau in 2007. ©NRL Photos


Melbourne rookie Israel Folau is called into the Australian Test team as a replacement for injured Broncos centre Justin Hodges. Folau is posed to become the youngest player in Australia's Test history at 18 years and 194 days.


St George's former dual premiership-winning coach Harry Bath passes away on the eve of the NRL grand final, aged 83.


Australian selectors name five newcomers in a 24-man squad to contest the Four Nations tournament. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Matt Scott, Dean Young, Nate Myles and Chris Lawrence are all included after injuries rule out up to a dozen leading candidates.


Canterbury hooker Michael Ennis is ruled out of the grand final with a broken foot. Moses Mbye takes his place at hooker in a match won 30-6 by the Rabbitohs.


Johnathan Thurston boots a golden point field goal to lift North Queensland to their maiden grand final victory, a heart-stopping 17-16 win over Brisbane. Thurston becomes the first player in 29 years to claim the Dally M Medal - Clive Churchill Medal double.


Seven newcomers are named in the Australian squad, including Matt Moylan (Penrith), Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra), Valentine Holmes and James Maloney (Cronulla), Justin O'Neill (North Queensland), Jake Friend (Sydney Roosters) and Shannon Boyd (Canberra).

Jason Taumalolo leads Tonga's war cry.
Jason Taumalolo leads Tonga's war cry. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos


North Queensland superstar Jason Taumalolo turns his back on New Zealand to pledge his allegiance to Tonga for the World Cup. Taumalolo's move is followed by other Kiwi-eligible players Tuimoala Lolohea, Solomone Kata, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, Manu Ma'u and David Fusitu'a.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.


Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.