Willie Horne and Malcolm Reilly, two of rugby league’s all-time greats, were last night inducted into the sport’s’ most exclusive club, the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Hailed as Barrow’s favourite son, Horne captained Barrow, Lancashire, England and Great Britain between 1943-1959.
Reilly’s playing career spanned three decades, during which he cemented his reputation as one of the game’s genuine hard men.
He had two spells with his home-town club Castleford and enjoyed a memorable stint in Australia with Manly before embarking on a successful coaching career with Castleford, Halifax and Great Britain, as well as Australian club Newcastle.
They take the total number of Hall of Fame members to 23 following last year’s induction of Lewis Jones, Martin Offiah, Garry Schofield and Mick Sullivan.
Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood said: “It is right and proper that these two outstanding players join the existing 21 greats within the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
“As we approach an exciting new era with a new league structure for 2015, it is also important to celebrate our heritage and to recognise the players who have enriched our game through the years.”
Newly-crowned Super League champions St Helens, meanwhile, have revealed they will announce their new head coach on Monday.
Saints need to find a successor to Nathan Brown, who stepped down after the 14-6 Grand Final win over Wigan, with former hooker Keiron Cunningham the strong favourite.
Super League Grand Final referee Phil Bentham will be England’s principal match official in the Four Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand.
Bentham has been joined down under by touchjudge Robert Hicks and video referee Ian Smith and looks set to take charge of Australia’s opening game against New Zealand in Brisbane next Saturday.
The other referees for the seven-match tournament are Gerard Sutton (Australia) and Henry Perenara (New Zealand). Four Nations match officials convenor Tony Archer said: “It’s obviously a great opportunity for these match officials, who are from different competitions and different nations, to come together and officiate in a very important tournament.”