|Full name||Benjamin David Ross|
23 May 1980 |
Chinchilla, Queensland, Australia
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb)|
Benjamin David "Ben" Ross (born 23 May 1980 in Chinchilla, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played in the National Rugby League for the St. George Illawarra Dragons, Penrith Panthers (with whom he won the 2003 NRL Premiership), Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Signing with Penrith in 2003, Ross helped to kick the season off to a blistering start after becoming involved in a brawl with Brisbane Broncos captain Gorden Tallis. Ross was on the receiving end of a series of upper-cut punches thrown by Tallis when Brisbane met Penrith in the first round of the year. Both players were sent off for ten minutes and no further action was taken by the judiciary. The Australian Football League (AFL) CEO, Wayne Jackson, used the incident to criticise the rival code which led to cross-border media exchanges. NRL CEO, David Gallop, ordered a policy change which would enable players to be charged for on-field fights.
Ross was a member of the Panthers' 2003 NRL grand final-winning team, playing from the interchange bench in their 18–6 win over the Sydney Roosters. As 2003 NRL premiers, the Panthers travelled to England to face Super League VIII champions, the Bradford Bulls in the 2004 World Club Challenge. Ross played from the interchange bench in the Penrith's 22-4 loss. Following his successful season at Penrith, Ross was selected to represent Queensland as an interchange for all six games of the 2004 and 2005 State of Origin series.
Although signed with Penrith until the end of 2007, Penrith announced they would have to release Ross due to salary-cap concerns. Ross joined the Cronulla Sharks in 2006 but had little game time that year due to injury. In round 8, playing against his previous club, Penrith, Ross damaged his left knee tackling former flat-mate, Joel Clinton, in the first few minutes of the match. He was able to participate in the majority of the 2007 season but was side-lined for the remainder of the season.
In 2008 Ross was knocked out in the Sharks' season opener against the Sea Eagles but miracuously recovered to play in the team's round two encounter against the Storm in Melbourne. Ross in that match was sent off late in the second half for his late charge on Storm halfback Cooper Cronk which subsequently earned him a seven-match suspension.
After suffering neck injury playing for Cronulla in the opening round of the 2009 NRL season Ross was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Vowing to return to the playing field, he was thrown a lifeline by the South Sydney Rabbitohs who gave him a contract. After undergoing surgery and rehabilitation, almost two years later Ross made his return to the playing field for the Rabbitohs in the 2010 NRL season.
Ross announced his retirement at the end of the 2013 NRL season. In the 2014 pre-season he rejected an offer to play in Super League for the London Broncos, preferring to take up a welfare management role with the Men of League Foundation.
- First Grade Debut: 2002 - Round 6, St. George Illawarra vs Melbourne at Olympic Park, 20 April
- Premierships: 2003 - Penrith Panthers defeated Sydney Roosters
- Representative Selection: 2004 - Queensland State of Origin
Ross was crowned the Sexiest Man in League in 2005 following a nationwide phone poll. Later that year he was one of twelve of the Hottest Players in the NRL that posed for the League Of Their Own 2006 calendar that was produced in the style of the Dieux du Stade calendars to raise money for the Koori Kids foundation.
In 2006, Ross again posed in the nude for the Naked Rugby League 2007–08 charity calendar, with its sales to benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia.
- "Broncos boss slams 'hypocrite' Jackson". ABC News. 2003-03-19. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Hinds, Richard (2003-05-02). "Please explain, Wayne Jackson". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- "Tallis should have been cited: NRL chief". ABC News. 2003-03-18. Archived from the original on 26 March 2003. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
- Ritchie, Dean (2005-07-01). "Maroons star goes up for sale". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 2008-01-19.[dead link]
- Mascord, Steve (2006-04-29). "Ross return ruined by injury". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 2008-01-19.[dead link]
- AAP (5 February 2011). "Ben Ross in emotional return to big league". The Australian. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- skysports.com (20 January 2014). "Ben Ross rejected London Broncos to take up welfare manager role". Sky Sports. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- The Footy Show: Former NRL player Ben Ross taken to hospital after arm wrestle with Wendell Sailor