Rugby league hard man Tommy Raudonikis has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The former Western Suburbs Magpies and Newtown Jets halfback succumbed to the illness on Wednesday morning, with his partner Trish Brown at his side.
In a long health battle, Raudonikis battled throat, neck and testicular cancer, and received a quadruple bypass.
The respected giant of the game played 239 games of top-grade NSWRL games in a 14-year career, which included representing Newtown in the 1981 grand final.
He also played 24 matches for NSW, and 20 times for Australia.
Australian Rugby League Commission chair Peter V'landys described Raudonikis as "One of a kind".
"There will never be another Tommy Raudonikis," V'landys said.
"Tommy was everything that makes rugby league the greatest game of all. He grew up in a migrant camp in Cowra and went on to become NSW's first Origin captain.
"As a player there were none tougher. He was a brilliant halfback, what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in smarts and courage to become one of the best players of his era.
"Few did more to promote our game than Tommy, whether it was at a luncheon on television or radio, Tommy was always there to talk up the game he loved.
"He made people laugh as one of the game's great larrikins and epitomised the passion and tribalism that is unique to rugby league."
"On behalf of the entire rugby league community, I send my deepest condolences to Tommy's family and friends."
Raudonikis was 70 years old.
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