5 Minutes With

5 Minutes With Greg Brentnall

Greg Brentnall gives us an insight into his career and some of the great characters he played with and against.

Greg Brentnall spent six seasons in the NSWRL with the Canterbury Bulldogs, winning the 1980 Premiership and was an inaugural NSW representative in State of Origin that same year.

The 1982 Rothmans Medal winner also represented Australia on 13 occasions and was a fixture at fullback for the Kangaroos during their Invincibles tour in 1982.

He spent five minutes with the Rugby League Monthly for a light-hearted look at his career.

Who was the most annoying teammate you roomed with?

We didn’t travel overnight for club games so only roomies were on Rep Tours and “End of Season” trips.

At the Bulldogs Chris Mortimer was always my Roomie as we got on great and still do, both living in Wagga. At Rep level I’ve only got positive memories of my Roomies including Kerry Boustead who I shared a room with for 3 months on the ’82 Kangaroo Tour.

Which player was the messiest in the dressing room?

One that does come to mind is The King, Wally Lewis . I have memories of he and my mate Steve Mortimer sharing a room on the 82 Tour.

When you walked into their room you had no trouble working out which side belonged to Wally – very messy.

What was the highlight of your career?

Season 1980 was the highlight for me. Individually, in the middle of the year I was chosen to play in my first Test Match for Australia, then a couple of months later the Bulldogs won  the grand final and I was able to share that with two sets of three brothers including the Mortimers, who I had grown up with in Wagga.

If you could play alongside any player past or present, who would it be and why?

I always maintain Steve Mortimer was the best player I played with or against. I saw Steve do things on the field that no one else could do.

In recent times I have been privileged to watch Cameron Smith develop into the best player of all time and it would have been nice to have played alongside him.

Which teammate had the worst fashion sense?

At Canterbury Stan Cutler used to think he was a bit of a fashion icon but all the Bushies in the club didn’t have the same opinion.

Are there any rules you’d like to see brought back from your era?

Not really. I’m happy with the way the game has developed particularly in season 2020.

I have always been an advocate for the one referee and I hope that will continue, while the introduction of the six again decision has continued to open the game up. Anything that will help to speed the game up and move away from the heavy emphasis on defence is a positive.

Bring back The Entertainers!

If you were trapped on a desert island, which 3 items would you take with you?

I don’t think I could survive on a Desert Island but I would have to have ; My family – particularly the Grand kids, a big screen TV to watch the Footy and a fridge full of KB.

Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner or home barbecue?

The three people I would invite to share a Dinner would be Peter” Bullfrog” Moore , Roy “Thirsty” Masters and John Ribot de Bresac.

All three are, or were great story tellers and have had a profound influence in my life.

In the old days we would always charge our meals to Bullfrog’s account –this time it might have to be Reebs who kicks the tin.

Which non-rugby league athlete do you think would be good at the sport?

Dusty Martin is an athlete I think would play well in our game. He has the explosive strength and ability to win the ball and get clear of opposition which I think is very transferable to Rugby League.

Who was the toughest player you played against?

Craig Young was probably the toughest player I played against. I first played against “Albert” at schoolboy level and then with him at Origin and Test level. I never saw him take a backward step and he was always the first to put his hand up for the tough carries at all levels.

If there was one match you could relive, what would it be and why?

Probably State of Origin 1 in 1980.

I often wonder what would have happened if NSW were better prepared for that first match and we actually won the game. What effect that would have had on the Origin concept and the history over the last 40 years of our great game.

At the time it was to be a one off exhibition game and was being panned by most of the critics.

The Queensland win was a great result for the game and has obviously injected millions of dollars into keeping the game afloat.

Could have all been different with a NSW win.

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