Some of the members of the "Team of the Century" Back (L-R): Brendan Moon, Tom Lawton, Ben Tune, John Eales, Mark Loane Centre: Dan Crowley, Tim Horan, Paul McLean, David Wilson, Jeff Miller Front: Des Connor, Nev Cottrell, Andy McIntyre, Michael O'Connor
In 1999 and after much discussion a Queensland Rugby "Team of the Century" was selected. That team was:
1 Dan Crowley
Dan was a highly mobile scrummager who played in three Rugby World Cups, winning two of them. Running out a total of 124 times for Queensland, Dan's decade-long career covered a golden era for the state.
2 Nev Cottrell
A skilful scrummager and determined tackler who went on to captain Australia, it was said Nev played like a runaway train and was one of the best hookers to represent his country.
3 Andy McIntyre
An internationally-respected prop who anchored the Queensland and Wallaby scrum in the 1980s and will always be remembered for that momentous pushover try against Wales in the 1984 Grand Slam tour. At the time of his retirement he was Australia’s most capped prop forward.
4 Graham Cooke
Graham was a big, powerful farmer’s son from the Darling Downs who played in the second row for Queensland and Australia and – as a result of a stint with Transvaal - almost qualified for selection for the Springboks.
One of the hardest and toughest men to play for Australia, he made his Queensland and Australian debut at the age of 20 and can lay claim to having the world’s longest international career, being recalled at the age of 35 after a break of 14 years.
5 John Eales
John’s contribution to rugby as a player and captain was outstanding. His athleticism in the lineout, general play, goal-kicking prowess and leadership qualities mark him out as one of the true champions of the modern game.
6 Tony Shaw
Another former Australian captain who played 112 matches for Queensland. A fierce competitor renowned for his uncompromising approach to the game, he was vigorous at the ruck and maul and a feared and respected opponent. A member of the so-called Queensland “holy trinity” in the 1970s.
7 David Wilson
Wherever the ball went David Wilson was never far behind. His high workrate, speed to the breakdown and fearless approach to the contest was responsible for countless turnovers and disruption of opposition ball.
8 Mark Loane
The famous Loane “Rhino charge” could bring a partisan Ballymore crowd to fever pitch, and leave would be defenders scattered in his wake. The second member of Queensland’s “holy trinity” during the golden years of the 1970’s
9 Des Connor (captain)
Des Connor is one of the finest scrum halves to ever play for Australia, possessing a fast, long pass and a great kicking game.
He won selection for Queensland in his first year out of school and played from 1954 to 1959 before accepting a teaching role in New Zealand, where he played for Auckland and then the All Blacks, becoming a dual international.
Des was also an innovative coach, and invented the short lineout to combat the All Blacks dominance in that area when he coached Australia in 1968.
10 Michael Lynagh
A backline general with pinpoint accuracy with the pass and kick in general play and a prolific points scorer with the boot, “Noddy” scored 1166 points for Queensland in 100 games and at one stage was the Australian record points scorer.
11 Brendan Moon
Possessing exceptional acceleration and evasive skills, he became one of the highest try scorers in test rugby for his time. An excellent finisher.
12 Tim Horan
A nuggety, powerful centre with radar defence and dramatic acceleration, Horan recovered from a crippling knee injury in 1994 through hard work and determination to become – if that were possible - an even better player than before.
13 Jason Little
The perfect foil to Horan’s power game, Little was a balanced, elusive runner whose combination with schoolmate Horan formed the perfect union. A punishing defender with excellent hands and an instinct for opportunity in attack.
14 Ben Tune
Another powerful and determined finisher with excellent evasive skills and rock solid defence. His try in the 1999 Rugby World Cup final will live forever in the memory of those who saw it.
15 Roger Gould
A big, powerful fullback with a punt kick described by colourful Rugby commentator Bill McLaren as “like the one o’clock gun at Edinburgh Castle”, Roger Gould had speed and acceleration to complement his huge frame, making him a menace to opposition backlines when he joined the line on attack.
A giant hooker whose power in the scrum helped revolutionise the Australian and Queensland forward game, Tom was also a master of the lineout throw.
A durable and combatative prop forward who played 122 matches for Queensland. The Reds’ Player’s Player award is named after Stan.
A fearless flanker who shaped his game on being first to the breakdown and then bravely absorbing all manner of punishment when he did so, in order to pilfer opposition ball or secure possession for his team. Jeff played 69 games for Queensland and continued to serve the game and his state after retirement as an administrator and coach.
One of the flattest and most accurate passers in the game, Slats was also a terrier around the base of the ruck and a fearless defender. Captained Queensland to its historic back-to-back victories in Super 10 finals in South Africa in 1994 and 1995, where he famously declared “it’s great to be an Australian, but it’s even better to be a Queenslander”
The third member of the “holy trinity”, McLean – now president of the ARU – was a master of controlling a game from flyhalf with his deft hands and accurate boot. Playing behind a dominant pack, McLean could orchestrate a game with cool efficiency and punish defenders with his deadly accurate goal kicking.
The Prince of Centres, Michael played only two seasons with Queensland, but what a cameo! A finely balanced runner with safe hands, a dazzling sidestep and electric speed, O’Connor’s class shone through at a young age and led to an equally exalted career in the 13 man game.
Bill McLean first made his debut for Queensland in 1939 and was selected for the Wallabies tour of England in 1939, only to not play a game when World War II was declared. Of the tourists that season, Bill was one of only three players to return to footballing success after the war, where he captained the Wallabies in five Test matches.
A tough and uncompromising prop, Cameron Lillicrap enjoyed a distinguished career with both Queensland and the Wallabies, representing Australia in the first two World Cups in 1987 and 1991.
26 APRIL 2018