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Up to two new rugby league Immortals will be announced on Wednesday but the debate over their selection looks set to extend well beyond the official unveiling at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Dally Messenger and Mal Meninga head a 10-strong nominees short list and are touted to become the ninth and possibly 10th Immortals.
When the concept was first started in 1981 by the now defunct Rugby League Week (RLW) publication, judges refused to consider anyone they had not seen play, so only looked at post-World War II careers.
But that has been ditched since the NRL took over the concept last year when RLW folded.
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All eras are now considered, however players are only eligible for Immortal status if they are an NRL Hall of Fame member.
Thanks to the rule tweak, Messenger is hot favourite to be the first pre-war player inducted more than 100 years after his fateful decision to turn his back on rugby and join the newly formed NSWRL in 1907.
Former test and Queensland captain Meninga has also gained support after being overlooked for Andrew Johns at the last Immortals announcement.
Maroons great Justin Hodges opted for Meninga over another nominee – his former teammate Darren Lockyer.
“It’s a tough question. I played a lot of football with Locky and shared some great memories with him but I have always said Mal Meninga (should be next Immortal),” he told Fox Sports.
“Whichever way they go, both guys are going to be there. I think big Malcolm deserves to be there first.”
No matter who is inducted, there’s bound to be more debate and controversy.
Already this week, RLW founding editor Geoff Prenter caused a stir when he accused the NRL of conspiring to keep nominee Norm Provan from becoming an Immortal.
Prenter claimed the NRL was trying to stop Provan from earning the accolade by cutting the Dragons great’s fans from the judges’ panel this year.
Prenter was among judges dumped for the final verdict along with Ray Hadley, Phil Rothfield, Wayne Bennett and Alan Jones.
The eight-member judging panel who met on Tuesday to decide the next Immortals was Wally Lewis, Bob Fulton and Andrew Johns plus Ray Warren, Phil Gould, Ian Heads, Steve Crawley and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.
The NRL is also revamping its Hall of Fame, with six to be inducted alongside the inaugural 100 players named in 2008.
Andrew Johns was the last Immortal inducted in 2012, joining Clive Churchill (1981), Bob Fulton (1981), Reg Gasnier (1981), Johnny Raper (1981), Graeme Langlands (1999), Wally Lewis (1999) and Arthur Beetson (2003).