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At the Illawarra?s largest ever sporting celebration dinner, the Illawarra Steelers named the Team of Steel as part of its 25th Anniversary. With a combined 48 State of Origin caps, 25 Australian caps, 1 New Zealand cap, 1 Rest of the World cap and 21 City/Country caps between them, the Steelers have named a squad that would arguably beat any team in any era. Led by ?Joe Cool? John Dorahy, the team boasts attacking flair right across the park.
Among the guests honouring the Steelers Anniversary and the Team of Steel were NRL CEO David Gallop, ARL CEO Geoff Carr, ARL Chairman Colin Love, Dragons Chairman Warren Lockwood and Dragons CEO Peter Doust.
Former ARL CEO John Quayle delivered a special tribute to the Steelers saying ?The Illawarra region has been producing great rugby league talent for many years. The fact that the Steelers are able to name such an illustrious team comes as no surprise.?
The heavyweights of rugby league rubbed shoulders with the Illawarra?s business community and fans of the game providing a memorable occasion for all. Signed jerseys by the Team of Steel were auctioned for Men of League Illawarra while Irish comedian Paul Martell provided the laughs during the evening.
Adding to the celebrations, the Illawarra Steelers also announced four playing life memberships. Illawarra Steelers Chairman Peter Newell announced Rod Wishart, Paul McGregor, Trent Barrett and Shaun Timmins as recipients.
Illawarra Steelers Director and 25th Anniversary Organiser, Mr Bob Millward, paid tribute to the Team of Steel. ?I?m sure Steelers fans from across the region will join me in congratulating each of the players on being a member of the Team of Steel,? Mr Millward said.
Chairman, Illawarra Steelers Mr Peter Newell recognized the significant interest in the event and the naming of the Team. ?Tonight?s announcement of the Team of Steel will end weeks of speculation, arguments and discussion on who will make the final team. I?d like to thank the region for supporting this event. Tonight is an historic occasion and a symbol of this region?s ongoing commitment, passion and prominence in the great game of rugby league,? Mr Newell said.
In front of a sell out crowd of nearly 850 people at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, host Andrew Voss from The Footy Show, announced the Team of Steel as:
Fullback: John Dorahy (C)
Wing: Rod Wishart, Alan McIndoe
Centre: Paul McGregor, Shaun Timmins
Five-eighth: Trent Barrett
Half: John Simon
Lock: Ian Russell
Second Row: Neil Piccinelli, Bob Lindner
Front Row: Chris Walsh (VC), Craig Smith
Hooker: Dean Schifilliti