Written by Callum Walker
A one club-man in the NRL, Steve Menzies spent all of his 15 years Down Under with the Manly Sea Eagles, scoring 180 tries in 349 games. Not only is this a club record that still lives on today but, in scoring this many tries in his career, Menzies became the highest-ever try-scoring forward in Australia.
“Beaver” as Menzies was affectionately known, debuted for Manly way back in 1993 and left for a shot in Super League with Bradford at the end of 2008. The forward had already been talking of retiring for years before joining the Bulls at the age of 35 on a one-year deal.
The talk surrounding Menzies’ move was one of a “last payday”, the versatile forward, however, had other ideas. He played past his first season in Super League with ease, slotting into a Bradford side struggling to get into the top eight play-offs. Another season passed with the veteran then 37; in 57 games for the Bulls, Menzies scored 27 tries and kicked one goal in his last appearance for the club.
At the end of 2010, the hardened veteran moved to the south of France with the Catalans Dragons. Remarkably, the Aussie played more seasons in Perpignan than he did in West Yorkshire and it wasn’t until the end of the 2013 season that he finally hung up his boots at the astonishing age of 39. Menzies had been the oldest player in Super League history and had enjoyed an unbelievable 21 seasons as a professional.
It’s not like Menzies was just going through the motions either; a real tough, physical and skilful forward, he was a real catch at both Bradford and Catalans, helping the latter finish fourth in 2012 – their highest-ever Super League finish. Over the course of his last three seasons, Menzies scored 31 tries in 71 appearances, endearing himself to the French faithful as well as the rest of Super League.
“Beaver’s” fantastic form in the early part of his career ensured he earned representative honours. For City Origin, he played eight games, scoring twice whilst for New South Wales he played 20 games, scoring four times. For Australia, Menzies registered 13 appearances, scoring a superb nine tries and the veteran even made two appearances for The Exiles against England whilst at Catalans.
Menzies’ try-scoring prowess was impressive to say he was a forward; over the course of his career, he notched 262 tries in 531 appearances – an incredible strike rate of over 49%. Respected on and off the field, the forward epitomised the ideal of a true Rugby League role model.
Standing at 6 ft 3 and weighing just under 100kg, Menzies was an immensely powerful forward, but he also had the ability to create something special. When playing his last game at the KC Stadium in Hull in September 2013, the Hull fans paid tribute to him as he joined their own players in the customary lap of honour – a sign of just how revered Menzies was in Rugby League.