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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Bulldogs boast elite Real NRL ‘production line’

John Sattler, Eddie Lumsden, Mark Hughes – the list of elite names is endless in the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs’ history books.

The Newcastle Rugby League (Real NRL) club boasts an impressive array of talent, both past and present since its formation in 1911.

And, that production line shows no sign of slowing down either.

“We’re very proud of our foundations,” current president Mick Alchin said.

“I believe Kurri Kurri has been home to 24 internationals over the past 110 years, which is a pretty remarkable feat.

“Guys like South Sydney legend John Sattler, who the grandstand is named after; Eddie Lumsden, who won nine premierships during the St George Dragons’ golden period; and gifted Newcastle Knight Mark Hughes, who also set-up his own charity; are among our notable juniors.

“We even host a knockout for the Mark Hughes Foundation for the area’s youngsters.

“I think it’s why we attract players to the Bulldogs, even to this day.

“You only have to see who’s joined us this season.

“Ex-NRL stars Frank-Paul Nu’uausala (Sydney Roosters, Canberra Raiders), Tyler Randell (Newcastle Knights) and Nathan Ross (Newcastle Knights) will don a Kurri Kurri jumper in 2021.

“Then you have the likes of our captain-coach Mitch Cullen, Reid Alchin, Jarred Anderson and Steve Gordon, who are all highly-regarded.”

To celebrate the club’s glittering bygone era, the Bulldogs unveiled their Team of the Century a decade ago, with a line-up that would be the envy of most organisations.

Obviously, Sattler (front-row and captain), Lumsden (wing) and Hughes (fullback) made the cut, along with Noel White (wing), Dennis Boocker (centre), Viv Madge (centre), Rees Duncan Jnr (five-eighth), Billy Roberts (halfback), Garry Sullivan (lock), George Hunter (second-row), Peter Brady (second-row), Bill Hamilton (front-row) and Jeff Masterman (hooker), with the bench comprising Jack Lumsden, Jeff Roach, Mick Shields and Phil Williams.

Rees Duncan Snr was appointed the side’s coach.

“It’s not a bad squad, is it?” Alchin said.

“But, Kurri Kurri’s always been a good nursery.

“We’re also extremely lucky to have had some great committees on board, too.

“For example, our vice-president Daryl Chapman’s done a lot of terrific things over the past 20 years.

“He’s my backbone.

“And, our junior stocks are also alright – we’ve got teams in all age groups.

“So, the future looks bright for the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs.”

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