On this day, Tina Turner rocks rugby league, Greg Inglis rocks the Dragons, and a couple of blokes nicknamed 'Joey' and 'SBW' make their debuts 10 years apart.
The NSWRL kick off the season with a spectacular video presentation featuring US rock legend Tina Turner. The 'What You Get is What You See' video appears on TV ads throughout the season and is frequently played on radio as part of the NSWRL's bid to attract a broader fan base. The clip becomes an all-time fan favourite.
Future NSW and Australian prop Aaron Woods is born in Sydney. Woods attends Holy Cross College and represents NSW Catholic Colleges, gaining selection in the 2008 Australian schoolboys side. Woods has played 14 State of Origin games for NSW and 18 games for Australia as of 2018. Also born on this day are future Queensland and Kangaroos winger Matt Sing (1975) and former Manly cult figure George Rose (1983).
Andrew Johns marks his entry into top-grade rugby league with a breathtaking man-of-the-match performance on debut. The man who would later be known simply as 'Joey' tormented the Rabbitohs with a personal 23-point haul. He played 23 games for NSW, 24 Tests for Australia and won two premierships with the Newcastle Knights. He captured three Dally Ms and two Golden Boot awards and in 2008 was named rugby league's eighth Immortal in 2012.
SBW scores his first try in the NRL
A strapping 18-year-old Kiwi debuts for the Bulldogs in their 48-14 demolition of Parramatta in the season-opener. Sonny Bill Williams goes on to become a genuine two-code superstar, winning NRL premierships with the Bulldogs (2004) and Roosters ('13) and representing both the Kiwis and All Blacks. SBW also made a successful foray into the boxing world, capturing the WBA International Heavyweight title in 2012.
Sonny Bill-Williams sets up the General
Greg Inglis scores the first try of the season and steps up again with a crunch field goal to seal a 17-16 golden point win for Melbourne over the Dragons. Salary cap pressure forces Inglis to leave the Storm two years later and he joins the Rabbitohs. One of the game's all-time greats, Inglis played 32 games for Queensland and 39 Tests for Australia. He won two premierships with Melbourne and added a third with the Rabbitohs in 2014.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton