In one of the most physically bruising sports on the planet, having a leader who inspires a team can be the difference between winning and losing.
So just who is the best captain of the modern era?
NRL.com recently called on the fans to vote for the Simply The Best players from 1990 to now to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Tina Turner promotional campaign, which was again featured in this year's Telstra Premiership advertisement.
Now it's time for you to have your say on the best captain of the past 30 years - you can no longer vote via the poll in this article.
We have trimmed the 10 candidates to the two frontrunners - Cameron Smith and Darren Lockyer - with polls on the NRL's official Facebook and Instagram accounts deciding once and for all who is better than all the rest.
Simply The Best captain nominees
(in alphabetical order)
The Kangaroos captain has a lot of runs on the board – he's not only the leader of the Australian side but also current State of Origin champions NSW and is the co-captain of back-to-back premiership winners the Roosters. Not a big talker but a leader by his actions.
An Australian Schoolboys sensation who became instant star at Penrith, Fittler captained the Panthers, NSW, Australia and finally the Roosters to a premiership win. He led NSW at Origin level 14 times – one short of the all-time record – and retired with 25 internationals as captain to his name, second only to Clive Churchill.
You can't get a much better example of "leading from the front" than Harragon, a man mountain who would launch himself into the teeth of the opposition defence as Newcastle's star prop and captain. The inspiration behind the team's first premiership win in 1997, "The Chief" played 14 Tests and 20 Origins.
Perhaps because of his jovial personality, Langer was under-rated as a skipper but his record is extremely good - he was captain of the Broncos when they won their four premierships in the 1990s and also led Queensland to their upset State of Origin series win in 1998.
93. Allan Langer - Hall of Fame
A born leader, Lockyer took the reins of Queensland aged 24 in 2001 and became one of the Maroons' greatest captains in the State of Origin era. There were doubts about his position in 2006 but he responded by leading the Maroons to a series win and the Broncos to the title.
100. Darren Lockyer - Hall of Fame
He enjoyed a run of near-flawless success at representative level for Queensland and Australia until his retirement in 2011.
The prototype for the lead-by-example style of captain, Meninga wasn't afraid to deliver a verbal barrage to his teammates when necessary but he got the best out of his sides by showing exactly what was needed on the field.
13th Immortal - Mal Meninga
The record-breaking centre captained Canberra to three premierships from 1989-94, took over the Queensland captaincy from Wally Lewis and also maintained Australia's dominance in the international arena before retiring at the end of the 1994 Kangaroo Tour.
A three-time Dally M Captain of the Year, twice with the Bulldogs in 2002 and 2004 and once with the Warriors in 2007, Price helped guide Canterbury out of the wilderness of a season in which they were stripped of competition points and towards the 2004 premiership.
A knee injury prevented him from lining up on grand final night for the Dogs in 2004 but stand-in skipper Andrew Ryan insisted that he also came onto the podium to jointly hold the trophy aloft.
Let's be honest, Cameron Smith has done it all. A five-time Dally M Captain of the Year with Melbourne, Smith has won grand finals at club level, led Queensland during most of their eight-year reign of State of Origin dominance.
He captained Australia for the majority of his 12-year international career as he racked up 56 international appearances (second behind Darren Lockyer on the all-time list).
A look back at the 2015 Grand Final
A player who took a few years to develop into a leader, Thurston overcame a few early hiccups to become North Queensland's talisman on and off the field.
Combining with prop Matt Scott, he led the Cowboys to their memorable 2015 grand final win over Brisbane and has shown in the last few years in retirement that he is a true leader off the field with his tireless community work, particularly in raising money for Indigenous education.
It's not the size of the skipper in the fight but the size of the fight in the skipper.
No Manly player could ever have an excuse for not aiming up when their captain, who was pretty much always the smallest player on the field, would rip into the opposition in attack and defence. Toovey was at the forefront in taking Manly to three straight premierships in the mid 1990s, including the 1996 triumph, and also captained NSW to victory the following year.