Super Rugby


QRU Match No. 241 - Fiji brings their Islander Style and Strength to Australia

Queenslanders are Remembering

QRU Match No. 241 - July 19, 1952

Queensland Rugby Union joined with New South Wales Rugby Union in 1952 to bring Fiji to Australia after the exciting impression they left on international Rugby during their 1951 New Zealand Tour.

The Courier-Mail, Friday 18 July, 1952, p2 -

Welcome to the men of Fiji

The Fijian Rugby Union players who take on Queensland tomorrow afternoon are reported to feel the cold. It is therefore appropriate that Brisbane should turn on this present unseasonable weather to give them a warm welcome, one which we all feel.

On this their first Rugby tour of Australia (they played cricket here as long ago as 1896) our Fijian friends have so far been unbeaten. What is more important, they have brought new vigour, humour and happiness into the playing of a grand game.

These twenty-three Rugby footballers are drawn from a population much smaller than that of Brisbane and from a group of islands not a quarter the size of Tasmania. The team is handicapped further by the absence in Malaya of some of its best players serving with the Fijian battalion. Their performances should, therefore, be watched with special sympathy.

Off the field these strong men are gentle and God-fearing. Total abstainers, they are vigorous proof that hard muscles and soft drink go well together. Altogether we have guests to be proud of.

"Jet-propelled" Fijian Joe Levula had been dubbed the best winger in the world and Queenslanders were eager to see for themselves.

"The Fijians lived up to their reputation and the public flocked to the Exhibition Ground to see an entertaining game. Although Queensland lost 24-17, Horsley, O'Neill and Jones provided plenty of thrills for the crowd." Red! Red Red!

Queensland Representative Number 658, Kevin Ryan -

"One of the most incredible players I have ever seen was big Joe Levula. He wasn't as big as Jonah Lomu, but he was incredibly strong and fast."

The 66-years since first connecting with Fiji Rugby has seen Queensland's Rugby benefit greatly from the infusion of Islander style, strength and passion; on the field and in the stands.

The 2018 St.George Queensland Reds boast four Fijian players who each illustrate the powerful legacy of Joe Levula and the thrilling 1952 tourists.

Queensland team that faced Fiji - July 19, 1952

Jersey No. QRU No. Name
1 573 Neil 'Tiny' Betts
2 571 Neville 'Notchy' Cottrell
3 639 Ian 'Lou' Hatherell
4 624 Ray Clark
5 625 Colin Forbes
6 638 Charles 'Chilla' Wilson
7 640 Bruce Mills
8 594 Ian McMillan
9 596 Gordon Marles
10 635 Ainslie 'Ross' Sheil
11 632 Tom Corcoran
12 628 Gavan Horsley
13 629 John O'Neill
14 615 Garth Jones
15 630 Thomas Sweeney


Make sure you're there at Suncorp Stadium on April 21 for the St.George Queensland Reds' clash against the Chiefs in Queensland Rugby's 1000th capped match.

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