The decision to elevate three players from the pre-World War II era to rugby league immortality has only made his elevation to the elite group more illustrious, according to new inductee Mal Meninga.
The NRL unveiled a record five new Immortals on Wednesday night, with Meninga and Norm Provan the two traditional inductees as well as Dally Messenger, Frank Burge and Dave Brown.
The naming of some of the game's founding figures came in the first time they were eligible to be named, after the NRL took control of the award from the now-defunct Rugby League Week Magazine.
Meninga backed the decision, given the group of 13 men now represents the very best players of the game from its first year in 1908 to the 21st century.
"That was fantastic, that was like a surprise out of the box, the game got that right," Meninga said.
"It was a really good decision. The selection committee had the forethought and were brave enough and courageous enough to do it tonight.
"It was a great time to do it. I was proud of the game when those names appeared.
"I was chuffed."
Meninga is a known student of the game, having introduced a number of practices as Kangaroos coach to recognise the national team's history.
His elevation came at the third time of being shortlisted, having previously been overlooked in both 2003 and 2012.
The three-time premiership winner labelled it one of the best things to have happened to him, no mean feat considering his record as a player and a coach at both Queensland and Kangaroos level.
"It's a fantastic feeling, a very humbling experience. I fully understand there are so many players that could be standing in my spot right now," Meninga said.
"It's one of the best things that's happened to me personally. As I mentioned I love the game and am very fortunate to stay involved in the game."
Meninga also revealed the crucial role Wayne Bennett played in putting him on the path to immortality.
One of the judges in selecting the latest inductees, Bennett had a distinct impact on Meninga as a teenager when he told him to pursue a career in the game.
"I wanted to be a policeman. I wanted to be a copper. I wanted to arrest people," Meninga said.
"He said I had some sort of talent about footy and we grew up watching Vince Lombardi and what he used to do.
"How he prepared teams and how he set goals.
"I can remember vividly, he said to me I can do anything in life as long as I put my mind to it.
"I went back to my room … and set a goal. I want to play for Queensland, I want to play for Australia."