50 most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in P20-21 rugby league

The list of rugby league’s most im­por­tant fig­ures is dom­i­nated by one very spe­cial player, writes MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE -

HE’S the undis­puted king of rugby league — and his reign is set to con­tinue. Fresh from cap­tain­ing the Storm to NRL glory and win­ning the Dally M medal, all-round su­per­star Cameron Smith has been crowned as the game’s most in­flu­en­tial fig­ure in the year to come.

The Kan­ga­roos and Queens­land cap­tain, who also has a grow­ing role off the field af­ter gain­ing a place in the now-pow­er­ful Rugby League Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, was deemed even more im­por­tant than NRL boss Todd Green­berg in a list of the game’s top 50 power­bro­kers for 2018.

Com­piled by the Sun­day Tele­graph’s sports team, the rank­ings in­clude a mix of sport­ing, cor­po­rate, me­dia and ad­min­is­tra­tion iden­ti­ties who are di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing the fu­ture suc­cess of one of Aus­tralia’s great­est codes.

Among the big guns is in­com­ing Aus­tralian Rugby League com­mis­sioner Peter Beattie — who is set to be the game’s new chair­man — and News Corp’s Michael Miller and Phil Rothfield.

Tel­stra chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer Joe Pol­lard and Har­vey Nor­man boss Katie Page show the grow­ing in­flu­ence of women in the game by sit­ting ahead of the likes of Kan­ga­roos coach Mal Meninga. While some big names, such as Jar­ryd Hayne and Paul Gallen, missed out, player power is also at its strong­est yet, with five cur­rent play­ers fea­tur­ing.

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