Counties Manukau Mt Rushmore: Voted 10-5

Counties Manukau Mt Rushmore: Voted 10-5

Fan votes determined our top 15 names of greatest Counties Manukau players of all-time. We passed those names to our panel of experts and this is how they rated them.

10. Jim Coe

One of the all-time iconic figures of Counties Manukau Rugby, Jim Coe was a stalwart of the Steelers through the 1980s and 1990s.

The big lock forward made his debut in 1986 and was a regular in the Steelers until 1999, playing more games in the red, white and black jersey than any other player barring Waiuku clubmate Alan Dawson.

Coe got a taste of Super Rugby with the Blues in their glory years while he also represented Maori All Blacks.

Coe is currently the President of the CMRFU.

9. Rod Ketels

Ketels is the third most-capped player in Counties Manukau history having racked up 173 games from his debut in 1974 until 1987.

A prop forward that represented the Pukekohe club, Ketels formed an all-All Black front row alongside Andy Dalton and John Spiers at Counties that powered the province to the 1979 NPC 1st Division title.

Ketels made his All Blacks debut in 1978 and played 16 matches in the black jersey through a decorated career.

8. John Spiers

An uncompromising, tough and modest toiler that went about his business without any fuss and got results.

Having first played for the province in 1970, Spiers as a fixture of the Counties team until 1980, including winning the 1979 NPC title.

In addition Spiers played 28 matches, including five tests for the All Blacks between 1976 and 1981, and over 400 games for his beloved Pukekohe club.

7. Joeli Vidiri

A try-scoring superstar of the 1990s but in many ways the man who played second fiddle to the great Jonah Lomu but with a record every bit as impressive.

Vidiri burst onto the scene in 1994, when he played the first of 71 games for the Counties Manukau Steelers. He made the right wing position his own as the Steelers re-established themselves in the NPC 1st Division and then went on to make back-to-back finals in 1996 and 1997.

He scored 56 tries for the province and was a stand-out for the Blues as they won the first two editions of Super Rugby.

Vidiri played two test matches for the All Blacks in 1998.

6. Errol Brain

One of the provinces greatest leaders, Brain became a fixture of the Steelers during the 1980s and 1990s and played many of his 146 games as captain of the side.

He led the team to win promotion back to the 1st Division in 1993 before captaining the side to NPC runner-up finishes in 1996 and 1997 (missing the final due to injury).

The number eight made his provincial debut in 1988 and remained a core part of the team until his retirement in 1998 while he represented the New Zealand Maori throughout his career.

One of the best domestic players to never receive an international call-up, Brain did feature for the Blues and Chiefs in Super Rugby.

5. Andy Dalton

The captain of the Counties side that won the NPC 1st Division title in 1979, Dalton would go on to captain the All Blacks and appear at the inaugural World Cup in 1987, although he never took to the field due to injury.

Dalton made his provincial debut in 1975 and would do on to amass 123 games over the next decade.

He made his All Blacks debut, following in the footsteps of his father, in 1977 and became a regular, playing in 35 games up to 1985.

He coached Counties from 1989-1991 and would go on to become chief executive of both Auckland Rugby and the Blues after his playing days.