Hazem El Masri

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Hazem El Masri
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{{EngvarB|date=August 2016}}{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2016}}

|birth_place = Tripoli, Lebanon|retired = yes178ftinWEBSITE=THEBULLDOGS.COM.AUCANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS>ACCESSDATE=6 JULY 2014, 8690stlbURL=HTTP://TVNZ.CO.NZ/CONTENT/450959/2422021/ARTICLE.HTMLWORK=ONE NEWSTVNZ>DATE=1 OCTOBER 2004, WG|FB}}Canterbury Bulldogs}}|year1start = 1996|year1end = 09|appearances1 = 324|tries1 = 168|goals1 = 895|fieldgoals1 = 0|points1 = 2462Lebanon national rugby league team>Lebanon|yearAstart = 1999|yearAend = 03|appearancesA = 8|triesA = 12|goalsA = 44|fieldgoalsA = 0|pointsA = 136City New South Wales rugby league team>City NSW|yearBstart = 2001|yearBend = 07|appearancesB = 5|triesB = 1|goalsB = 14|fieldgoalsB = 0|pointsB = 32Australia national rugby league team>Australia |yearCstart = 2002|yearCend = |appearancesC = 1|triesC = 0|goalsC = 4|fieldgoalsC = 0|pointsC = 8New South Wales rugby league team>New South Wales|yearDstart = 2007|yearDend = |appearancesD = 1|triesD = 1|goalsD = 3|fieldgoalsD = 0|pointsD = 10|source = Rugby League Project|updated = 15 May 2019}}Hazem El Masri (; born 1 April 1976) is a Lebanese Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played as a {{rlp|wg}}er in the 1990s and 2000s. An international representative for Australia and Lebanon, and a New South Wales State of Origin representative goal-kicking {{rlp|wg}}, he played his entire club football career in Sydney with the Bulldogs with whom he won the 2004 NRL Premiership. In 2009 (his final season in the NRL) El Masri took the record for the highest-ever point scorer in premiership history and for a record sixth time was the NRL's top point scorer for the season. He also became only the seventh player in history to score over 150 NRL tries, having primarily played on the wing, but also at {{rlp|fb}}.El Masri is a self-identified devout Muslim.NEWS, McDonald, Margie, The Australian,weblink Hazem El Masri's points tally a godsend, 1 July 2009, 29 August 2009, He is widely respected for his community work with young people, winning the NRL's Ken Stephen Award in 2002. The award recognises players who contribute to the betterment of their community away from rugby league.WEB,weblink Hazem El Masri, former professional Rugby League player with the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Unknown, Western Sydney University -,, en, 28 April 2016, El Masri, widely regarded as the greatest goalkicker ever seen on a rugby league field, scored the second most points (2,418) by any player in NRL history.NEWS,weblink ‘It’s the toughest thing I’ve been through in my life’, NewsComAu, 2017-04-11, en,


El Masri was born in Tripoli, Lebanon on 1 April 1976 to ethnic Lebanese parents, Khaled and Amal.Hazem El Masri {{webarchive|url= |date=14 March 2011 }} at He emigrated to Australia with his family from there in 1988 when he was 12 years old. He began playing soccer at an early age but during his senior years in high school switched to rugby league, joining a local club, the Enfield Federals. While playing for Belmore Boys High School in 1994, El Masri was spotted by Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs development officers and was invited to trials for their Jersey Flegg side. The following year he was elevated to the President's Cup squad.

Playing career


El Masri debuted in the Sydney Bulldogs' first grade team during the 1996 ARL season. He was not the first choice goal-kicker at the Bulldogs initially as the club still featured renowned sharp shooter Daryl Halligan. It was not until Halligan was injured in 1997 that El Masri first kicked for the Bulldogs. In that year's Super League season El Masri scored a memorable hat-trick of tries against English club Halifax.NEWS, Hadfield, Dave, El Masri's magnificent hat-trick, The Independent, UK, Independent News and Media Limited, 21 July 1997,weblink 24 December 2009, El Masri had become a regular member of the Bulldogs squad by the 1998 NRL season. Although his side reached the 1998 NRL Grand Final, he did not play in Canterbury's loss to the Broncos.In 1999, El Masri made his debut for Lebanon in a Mediterranean Cup game against Morocco. In this match he scored a total of 48 points, the highest number of points ever scored by one player in an international match.{{citation needed|date=November 2014}}


The Lebanon nation side qualified for their first ever World Cup in 2000 and El Masri captained the side. He played in all three of Lebanon's World Cup games. He played in his country's first ever World Cup Match against New Zealand, which they lost 64–0. He scored a try and kicked three goals in their 24–22 loss to Wales. He scored two tries and kicked three goals in their 22–22 draw against the Cook Islands. At the end of the group stage, Lebanon finished on one point and did not advance to the knockout stage. At the end of the World Cup his stats were three tries and six goals for 24 points for Lebanon. His brother, Samer El Masri, also played for Lebanon. El Masri later played for the New South Wales City representative side in 2001 and would go on to appear in the annual City vs Country Origin fixture on five occasions.In 2002, El Masri topped the League's point-scoring table for the first time and rejected a $2 million offer from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, opting to stay with the Bulldogs.NEWS, Walton, Darren, Fans will wonder how Bulldogs stayed on the leash, says PigginsThe Sydney Morning Herald>Sydney Morning Herald, The, Fairfax Digital, 24 September 2002,weblinkAustralia national rugby league team>Australian team against New Zealand national rugby league team. El Masri set a new record for most goals scored by a Bulldogs player in a single match with 11 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 21, NRL season 2003>2003.(File:Hazem el Masri.jpg|thumb|left|El Masri playing for the Bulldogs in 2004.)El Masri broke the National Rugby League point scoring record for a single season with 342 points (16 tries and 139 goals) in the 2004 season.NEWS, Walter, Brad, Fairfax Digital,weblink Hazem El Masri announces retirement, 30 June 2009, 29 August 2009,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2009, He then played for the Bulldogs on the wing in their 2004 NRL grand final victory over cross-city rivals the Sydney Roosters, scoring a try and kicking two goals. As 2004 NRL premiers, the Bulldogs faced Super League IX champions, the Leeds Rhinos, in the 2005 World Club Challenge. El Masri played on the wing, scoring two tries and kicking four goals in the Bulldogs' 32–39 loss.El Masri set the Canterbury-Bankstown club's career points record, surpassing Daryl Halligan during the 2005 NRL season.In 2006, El Masri broke another two club records: the most points scored for a single game (34 points, Rd 2 vs Wests Tigers) and the most first grade tries for the Bulldogs (123, Rd 13 vs Newcastle Knights). He also kicked his 600th goal during that – El Masri, Hazem {{webarchive|url= |date=12 May 2006 }}El Masri broke the 1,900-point record after scoring 14 points in Round 8 of the 2007 NRL season against the Newcastle Knights, defeating them 30–16 and becoming the sixth player to ever surpass that point, along with Graham Eadie, Mick Cronin, Daryl Halligan, Jason Taylor and Andrew Johns. El Masri was called up to Game 3 of the 2007 State of Origin series to make his debut after Jamie Lyon was ruled out through injury.El Masri to make Origin debut – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) He kicked three conversions from the sideline, and scored the final try, giving him 10 points in total. Also in 2007, Bill Woods published an authorised biography, El Magic: the life of Hazem El Masri.(File:Hazem El Masri.jpg|thumb|right|El Masri in 2009)El Masri broke the all-time highest NRL career point scoring record in front of a crowd of 19,791 against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in round 1, 2009, with a penalty goal on a rainy Saturday night, giving him 2,208 points. On 15 May 2009, El Masri played his 300th game in the Bulldogs 20–18 loss to the Dragons at Win Jubilee Stadium. He was the first Bulldog play to reach the milestone. He joined the exclusive '300' club behind, Darren Lockyer (355), Terry Lamb (349), Steve Menzies (349), Brad Fittler (336), Cliff Lyons (332), Andrew Ettingshausen (328), Geoff Gerard (320), Jason Croker (318), Paul Langmack (315), Ruben Wiki (312), Steve Price (306), Luke Ricketson (301) and Petero Civoniceva (300). In June 2009, El Masri announced that he would retire from the NRL at the end of the 2009 season. He played his 317th and final game on 25 September 2009 against the Parramatta Eels in the preliminary final in front of a crowd of 74,549 people, the largest finals crowd ever recorded for a non-grand final. Lebanon Cedars' coach John Elias approached El Masri to play a one-off European Cup tie for Lebanon against Russia in Tripoli in October 2009.NEWS, Massoud, Josh, The Daily Telegraph,weblink Hazem El Masri set for Lebanon farewell, 29 August 2009, 29 August 2009, El Masri considered accepting this invitation but found himself unable to do soweblink El Masri setting the NRL career point scoring record of 2,418BOOK, Kane, Stephen, A Statistical History of Rugby League, 2013, Xlibris Corporation, Australia, 212,weblink {{Self-published inline|certain=yes|date=January 2018}} points in 317 games (159 tries, 891/1087 goals at 81.97%).

Personal life

In 2000, El Masri married a Saudi Arabian-born Palestinian woman, Arwa Abousamra. They have three children. {{Citation needed|date=May 2017}}El Masri is a devout Muslim.WEB, Michael Winkler,weblink 6 famously devout NRL players, Sports, 22 March 2012, 24 February 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 24 September 2015, dmy-all, He was one of the first Lebanese Australians to step forward in the name of friendship and understanding in the wake of the racially motivated 2005 Cronulla riots.BOOK, Sully, Sandra, Sandra Sully (journalist), Bill Woods, El Magic: The life of Hazem El Masri, HarperCollins, 2007, Australia, xi,weblink 978-0-7322-8402-2,


After his retirement, El Masri made an appearance, kicking a goal, in the opening ceremony of Melbourne's new AAMI Park before the 2010 ANZAC Test.NEWS, Read, Brent, Kangaroos shine brightest against New Zealand, The Australian, Australia, News Limited, 8 May 2010,weblinkLiberal Party of Australia>Liberal candidate for the Electoral district of Lakemba at the 2011 New South Wales state election>2011 state electionweblink El Masri and his wife split in early 2014.HTTP://WWW.SPORTAL.COM.AU/LEAGUE/NRL-PREMIERSHIP/FORMER-CANTERBURY-BULLDOG-HAZEM-EL-MASRI-AND-WIFE-SPLIT/10ZT6A4LX9I6L1IPEY1KNTD5AW>TITLE=FORMER CANTERBURY BULLDOG HAZEM EL MASRI AND WIFE SPLITSPOTAL>ACCESSDATE=20 JUNE 2015ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20150620081256/HTTP://WWW.SPORTAL.COM.AU/LEAGUE/NRL-PREMIERSHIP/FORMER-CANTERBURY-BULLDOG-HAZEM-EL-MASRI-AND-WIFE-SPLIT/10ZT6A4LX9I6L1IPEY1KNTD5AWDF=DMY-ALL, He subsequently remarried. He was a White Ribbon Day ambassador. In October 2015, he was charged by New South Wales Police with assaulting his second wife and causing bodily harmweblink Rugby league legend and White Ribbon Day ambassador Hazem El-Masri is charged with assaulting his new wife 'causing actual bodily harm' In early 2016 the charge was later dropped by police. In 2017, it was reported he and his first wife, Arwa had remarriedweblink


  • BOOK, Woods, Bill, El Magic: The Life of Hazem El Masri, 2007
HarperCollins Publishers Australia>location=Pymble, N.S.W, 0-7322-8402-3,



External links

{{Bulldogs squad 2004 NRL premiership}}{{Lebanon squad 2000 Rugby League World Cup}}{{National Rugby League top points scorers}}{{Rugby league footballers with 2,000 NRL points}}{{Rugby league footballers with 150 NRL tries}}{{Rugby league footballers with 300 NRL games}}{{Authority control}}

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