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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's decision to end his time in rugby league a little early has sparked talk as to where he sits on the list of all-time Kiwis greats.

New Zealand continues to offer many riches to the game, from the times of Mark Graham and Ruben Wiki, through to Benji Marshall, Stacey Jones and Sonny Bill Williams.

Choosing the best isn't easy, but the experts at have had their say.

Experts' view - Who's the best New Zealand player

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

No question from me, I would definitely say Ruben Wiki. I had plenty of tough tussles with him on the field. I have the utmost respect for him as player and person.

Have we definitely seen the last of RTS in the NRL?

Brett Kimmorley (Former Test halfback)

Whenever Benji Marshall is playing in a match you know it's worth watching. His skill level and willingness to try things have made him a pleasure to watch. A passionate Kiwi, Benji has been a hero to many a youngster on both sides of the Tasman. 

Jamie Soward (Premiership winner)

Benji Marshall and Stacey Jones are the best to do it for NZ. The skill and also the way they both played the game as little men was so cool to watch. I can't split them.

Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers)

Ruben Wiki. His evolution from a centre to a fearsome front-rower was something else. He also proved to be a wonderful leader and captain.

Family at the heart of early RTS exit

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League) 

Having won a World Cup, a Four Nations and an NRL grand final it’s hard to go past Benji Marshall. He's always had so much pride in the New Zealand jersey and when he (finally) retires will retire as one of the most beloved players of all time.

Brad Walter ( senior reporter)

Sonny Bill Williams won his first premiership as a teenage superstar with Canterbury in 2004 and inspired a cultural revolution at the Roosters when he returned in 2013 and lead the club to grand final glory. If he had played more rugby league, SBW would be considered a future Immortal.

Paul Suttor ( editor-in-chief)

Mark Graham put New Zealand rugby league on the map in the 1980s, paving the way for the next generation of Kiwi stars. He gave the North Sydney Bears a much-needed hard edge and was a true leader. Ask any player from that era and his name often pops up as someone they least liked facing.

Alicia Newton ( reporter)

Growing up, Stacey Jones was one of the most dominant players in the NRL, finishing his career with a total 261 first grade and 46 Test appearances. The "little general" held several battles with the likes of Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer and never took a backward step.

Every try from Round 19

Paul Zalunardo ( senior journalist)

L&P is a great fizzy drink but Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is better. It's a great field to select the best Kiwi of all from. Sonny Bill Williams may have got my vote if he'd spent more time in the game, but RTS has been a wonder for many years. The only Kiwi to win a Dally M Medal, this guy is rightly celebrated by footy fans everywhere.

Martin Lenehan ( senior journalist)

Ruben Wiki played a record 55 Tests for the Kiwis in a 13-year international career and was part of the historic 2005 Tri-Nations final win over the Kangaroos. One of the toughest players of his era, Wiki also chalked up 311 first-grade games and won a premiership with the Raiders in 10994.

Zac Bailey ( reporter)

It's hard to go past Benji Marshall, but Stacey Jones just pips him in a head-bobbing finish. The Hall of Famer played in the most important position on the field, took the Warriors to a grand final, led the Kiwis to inflict Australia's first international series loss in 27 years in the 2005 Tri-Nations final and is the only life member of the Warriors. The best thing to come out of New Zealand since Pineapple Lumps.

Try July funds pass the quarter-million mark in Round 19

Chris Kennedy ( reporter)

I can’t go past Benji Marshall. Being a premiership, World Cup, Four Nations and Golden Boot winner with 339 NRL games who inspired a generation of kids to play the game is pretty hard to beat.

Dan Walsh ( reporter)

Stacey Jones. Iconic throughout the late 90s and Andrew Johns's favourite sparring partner. The most influential figure in taking the Warriors off the breadline and into the 2002 grand final, winning the Golden Boot that season and piloting New Zealand's historic Tri-Nations upset of Australia three years later.

Troy Whittaker ( reporter)

Growing up in the 2000s, Benji Marshall’s influence was inescapable. His jaw-dropping brilliance, innovation and durability has made him the best of many great Kiwi rugby league players.

Lone Scout ( Fantasy guru)

Sonny Bill Williams and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck may have had better all-round games but in terms of capturing the imagination of footy fans young and old, it’s hard to go past Benji Marshall. Yes, he threw THAT flick pass in the Tigers’ 2005 grand final win but he was also the Kiwis’ chief playmaker in their first World Cup trophy in 2008.

Kenny Scott ( podcaster)

Benji Marshall is the King of New Zealand champions. He introduced a generation of footballers to side steps, flick passes and fast attacking football. We are all richer for it.


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The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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