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Hazem El Masri was a cult-hero during his time at the Canterbury Bulldogs, known for his impeccable goal-kicking record in high-pressure moments. He was born in Lebanon, and his family fled the country with him when he was just 12-years-old. He moved to Australia, and fell in love with soccer, which is probably a factor towards his goal-kicking ability, which was so good that fans gave him the nickname, “Hazem El Magic”.

His Moment: El Masri only played one State of Origin match for NSW, but it was certainly a debut match to remember. He was called in to the side for Game III of the 2007 series, and while the match was a so-called “dead rubber”, that did not stop El Masri steering the VB Blues to victory with his boot. He kicked three sideline conversions from three attempts, and also scored a try in NSW’s 18-4 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

His Career: El Masri is a part of the illustrious 300-club, having laced up the boots 317 times. Remarkably, he was also a one-club player for the Bulldogs, which makes this achievement more special. He holds the record for most points ever accumulated throughout a career with 2418, and topped the season point scoring list an incredible six times. He also holds the record for most points in a season with 342 in their premiership-winning year of 2004, and became the seventh player to score over 150 tries.

Where Is He Now: El Masri is a devoted Muslim, and was even approached to stand as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Lakemba in the 2011 state election. He has been involved in Rugby League post-retirement, having been an NRL ambassador, a White Ribbon Day ambassador, and kicked a goal in the opening ceremony of AAMI Park in 2010. 

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.