George Nicholls (rugby league)
14 May 1945|
George Nicholls (born 14 May 1944) is an English former professional rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. A Great Britain, and England international representative forward, he played his club rugby for English sides Widnes, and St. Helens. Eventually becoming a St Helens R.F.C. Hall of Fame inductee, he also became the first player to win the Man of Steel Award, Harry Sunderland Trophy, and Lance Todd Trophy with the club. With Great Britain, Nicholls also won the 1972 Rugby League World Cup.
Born in Widnes, Lancashire on 14 May 1944, George Nicholls commenced playing professionally for Rugby Football League club Widnes in 1966. He played for Widnes at prop forward in their 8-15 loss to Wigan in the 1971 Lancashire Cup Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Saturday 28 August 1971.
While playing club football for Widnes, Nicholls was selected to play at loose forward for the Great Britain Lions who retained the 1972 World Cup. He also played at loose forward in Widnes' 0-5 loss to Leigh in the 1972 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Central Park, Wigan on Tuesday 19 December 1972.
The St. Helens club acquired Nicholls' services in 1973 for £9,000. He played for them at second-row forward in their 22-2 victory over Dewsbury in the 1975 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Tuesday 16 December 1975. In the 1975–76 Challenge Cup Final Nicholls helped the St Helens side to victory. Nicholls played at second-row forward in St. Helens' 2-25 defeat by the 1975 NSWRFL season premiers, Eastern Suburbs Roosters in the unofficial 1976 World Club Challenge at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday 29 June 1976.
In the 1978 Challenge Cup Final Nicholls was in the St Helens team which lost 14-12 to Leeds, but he won the Lance Todd Trophy. The voting for the Lance Todd Trophy took place after 70 minutes when St Helens were leading 12-5. That year Nicholls was also voted the best player in the Championship, claiming the second-ever Man of Steel Award. The Open Rugby inaugural World XIII was revealed in June 1978 and included Nicholls. Nicholls played left-second-row in the 7-13 defeat by Widnes in the 1978 BBC2 Floodlit Trophy Final at Knowsley Road, St. Helens on Tuesday 12 December 1978.
- "Statistics at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl.co.uk. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- "George Nicholls". rugby.widnes.tv. Widnes Vikings. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "1971-1972 Lancashire Cup Final". wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "World Club Challenge 1976 at rugbyleagueproject.org". rugbyleagueproject.org. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.