Origin Greats: Who are the best hookers?

IN TODAY'S decision we've not only got mate against mate and state and against state but brother against brother.

It's part of our Origin Greats series, where two league legends, King Wally Lewis and Benny Elias, have picked their best ever teams, and you have the chance to test yourself against them.

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

So far we've looked at the fullbacks, wingers, centres, five-eighths, halfbacks and props. Today we'll examine the hookers.


They don't get any easier. Three-time man-of-the-match and APN's guest selector Benny Elias was the bane of Queensland sides for 19 Origins winning 10 of them and being man of the match on three occasions.

A pesky dummy half who could put players off their game Elias was very dangerous out of dummy half and was as tough as they came.

Newcastle's Danny Buderus was a wonderful competitor. He also won 10 of his 21 Origins and, like Elias, was durable and extremely tough and creative with the ball in hand.

Manly's Max Krillich can't be left out although his Origin-winning record wasn't too flattering.

Geoff Toovey made his name as a halfback but he also played a bit of Origin in the No.9 for the Blues. His quickness out of dummy half was a real bonus and his toughness was never questioned.

Rounding off the list is current No.9 Robbie Farah who will play his 12th Origin next week. Farah has had some great battles with rival Cameron Smith with the Queensland coming out on top.

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


Steve "Boxhead" Walters was regarded as Queensland's best ever hooker when he retired who had a running battle with Elias during the early 1990s.

Steve's brother Kerrod was a livewire hooker with a unique head back running style which stood out. He was a tremendous runner out of dummy half and very dangerous behind a pack going forward.

Some still rate Steve No.1 but that mantle has probably gone to current Queensland captain Cameron Smith, on target to break Darren Lockyer's game record of 36 .

It's said Smith, whose Origin wins total 20,  looks more like a banker than a rugby league player but he is as durable and tough as anyone playing the game. Ice cool under pressure, has great vision and can kick goals. The complete package.

The man named "Turtle" Greg Conescu set the standard in the early years winning 11 of his 20 Origins while Jason Hetherington gets a nomination for his eight Origins played with courage and passion.

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

Click here to vote on the fullbacks

Click here to vote on the wingers

Click here to vote on the centres

Click here to vote on the five-eighths

Click here to vote on the halfbacks

Click here to vote on the props

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