PLAYERS | Rhys Wesser

399_wesser-rhys

Panther 399

177 matches [1998-2008]

454 points [113 tries, 1 goal]

Stats: themightypanthers.com/players_wesser-rhys.htm

Rockhampton born fullback who debuted at Penrith as a 19 year old in 1998.

However, he would play only 13 matches in his first three seasons at the Panthers but would assume the first-choice fullback position upon the departure of Peter Jorgensen in 2001.

In 2002, he would cross for 19 tries to set a club record for most tries in a season by a player. Wesser’s breakout season would be in 2003, displaying scintillating form at the back and where he would break the record again scoring 25 tries (and be the competition’s leading try scorer) as the Panthers marched towards their second premiership.

His form would be rewarded with selection in all three matches for Queensland in the 2004 State of Origin series, where he was solid at fullback.

In the subsequent seasons, Wesser would not be able to reach the same heights of 2003-2004, but still was a reliable try scoring fullback for the Panthers.

He would make a return to State of Origin for the final match of the 2006 season, playing in the unaccustomed role of wing. Later in the season, his performances to date were honoured by being named at fullback in the “Team of Legends” to commemorate the Panthers 40th anniversary.

In 2007, he would overtake the club record shared by Greg Alexander and Ryan Girdler of most tries for the club.

With the arrival of head coach Matt Elliott that year, it was reported that he was one of a number of players from the 2003 premiership winning team who were told that they could look elsewhere – this was confirmed in 2008 as he was released one year early from his contract by signing on with South Sydney.

He would play for three seasons at the Rabbitohs before retiring at the end of the 2011 season.

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