The Courier-Mail

Souths’ title anniversar­y honoured

- PAUL MALONE CHRIS GARRY

THE Wayne Bennett premiershi­p that Sydney forgets will be celebrated by Souths in Brisbane tonight.

A reunion for the Souths premiershi­p side from 1985 will be held at the Souths Leagues Club at Davies Park.

Bennett, coach of the Magpies team which stunned Wynnum-Manly 10-8 in the grand final, and skipper Mal Meninga will be interviewe­d at the 180-person function.

Hodges made his debut for the Broncos as a 17-year-old in the 2000 season, playing wing against the Canberra Raiders. He finishes his career 15 years later, with 13 Tests and 24 State of Origin appearance­s.

He also won two premiershi­ps, one with the Roosters in 2002 and another with Brisbane in 2006.

The 2006 premiershi­p victory can largely be attributed to Hodges and Bennett’s decision to move him to fullback late in the season which transforme­d the team.

Hodges treasures his relationsh­ip with Bennett. They have an enduring friendship.

The pair clashed in 2001

Meninga, Gary Belcher and the late Peter Jackson all moved to Canberra after the win and Bennett followed as Raiders co-coach in 1987.

“We had lost the 1984 grand final to Wynnum 48-6, so if we hadn’t won the following year, who knows where Wayne’s coaching career would have gone,’’ Souths chief executive Jim McClelland said.

Most of the team will attend to mark a season where Souths won four of the five grand finals they played that day.

 ??  ?? FAMILY FOCUS: Skipper Justin Hodges with wife Gyanne and son Carter after his announceme­nt. Picture: Annette Dew
FAMILY FOCUS: Skipper Justin Hodges with wife Gyanne and son Carter after his announceme­nt. Picture: Annette Dew
 ??  ?? INTERVIEW: Mal Meninga during his time at Souths.
INTERVIEW: Mal Meninga during his time at Souths.

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