St George Illawarra’s Ben Hornby receives congratulations from Norm Provan for breaking the Dragon legend’s club games record of 256 matches.
St George Illawarra’s Ben Hornby receives congratulations from Norm Provan for breaking the Dragon legend’s club games record of 256 matches. GETTY IMAGES

Hagan wants Provan as Immortal

END the injustice.

That is what former Australian international Bob Hagan wants from those enshrined with selecting the next Immortal, urging them to open the door for great Dragon Norm Provan to enter league's most exclusive club.

The decision of the 18 judges, who include journalists and the five living Immortals, will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney tomorrow night.

Former Canterbury centre Hagan, 72, played against Provan when the towering second-rower was instrumental in creating history as part of the transcendent St George dynasty of the 1950-60s.

Both men now live on the Sunshine Coast.

"He should already be an Immortal, no doubt about it," Hagan said.

"He was one of the outstanding captains of all time.

"Without any doubt (they should right the wrong).

"And of those Immortals now, he would be the equal of any of them, and that's not belittling those that are there now."

Having an intimate knowledge of Provan's prowess as a player or player-coach in 10 of the Dragons' 11 consecutive premierships, Hagan is stupefied that his former rival is yet to join Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson in the pantheon of the game.

Provan, a Team of the Century second-rower, is on an unofficial shortlist to be the next inductee into the venerable club.

The others are South Sydney and Eastern Suburbs "Prince of Locks" Ron Coote, Canberra bulldozer Mal Meninga and inimitable Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns.

There has been a NSW push for Johns, with Queensland obviously getting behind Maroons State of Origin coach Meninga.

But Hagan, the coach of Canterbury in 1970-71, cannot be swayed.

"I don't understand it, really … why he's not already (an Immortal). I just can't believe it," he said.

"They've been remiss in not being forthcoming long before this."


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