CAMPBELLTOWN'S St Gregory's College has a production line of which Ford and Holden would be envious.
Trent Barrett, Jason Taylor, Jack Gibson, Chris Lawrence and Tim Sheens are among the honour roll of former students to forge a career in professional rugby league — and the Advertiser has chosen this top representative team.
The school has earned a reputation as one that nurtures and develops the rugby league potential of students — particularly those who board and hail from rural areas, like James Smith.
The 41-year-old played 120 first grade rugby league games from 1992 till 1999 with the Western Suburbs Magpies, Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs. Smith, who grew up near Cootamundra, was shocked when the Advertiser informed him of his selection in our St Gregory's College top 13.
"It's a surprise, very unwarranted but generous, and you can quote me on that," he said. Smith was a part of the 1989 school cup winning side where 11 out of the starting 13 players went on to play professional football.
Peter Mulholland, Smith said, was the driving force behind the school's success. "Peter was amazing," he said. "I'm sure he did other things than coach rugby league but he should have been exclusively paid for that. Undoubtedly he was the central figure in the success of rugby league [at the college]."
Mulholland, now recruitment manager for the Newcastle Knights, coached St Gregory's College to eight out of their nine cup titles from 1979-1993.
The school still holds the record for the most cups — three in front of their nearest rival. Asked who the best student he coached was, Mulholland gave three answers.
"For individual brilliance it would be Damien Kenniff, the most naturally gifted would be Trent Barrett and the hardest working would be Jason Taylor."
Taylor, who attended St Gregory's College in years 11 and 12 praised Mulholland.
Despite a playing career which lasted 12 years and included two NSW State of Origin appearances, Taylor said one of his best memories occurred on the grounds of the college, on top of the hill that looks over Campbelltown.
"The first game I played, the majority of the school were watching and singing," he said. "There was so much pride and spirit."
The Advertiser's top 13 from St Gregory's College
1. Mick Potter
2. James Tedesco
3. Russell Richardson
4. Chris Lawrence
5. Matt Sears
6. Trent Barrett
7. Jason Taylor
8. Paul Quinn
9. Ivan Henjak
10. Tim Sheens
11. Ryan Hoffman
12. James Smith
13. Beau Scott
Coach: Jack Gibson
Do you agree? Who would/wouldn't make your list?