Six Wallabies inducted into IRB Hall of Fame
November 19, 2013
George Gregan receives his Hall of Fame cap at the induction ceremony © Getty Images
Wallabies legends George Gregan, David Campese, Ken Catchpole, Mark Ella, John Thornett and Tom Lawton have been inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame alongside six British & Irish Lions heroes in a ceremony after the opening day of the inaugural IRB world conference in Dublin on Monday.
Gregan, the most-capped player of all-time, with 139 appearances to his name, was in Dublin to accept his accolade, while Campese, the other Australian to reach three figures, playing 101 times for his country, will receive his framed IRB Hall of Fame cap and pin at a later date in Australia alongside Ella, Catchpole, Thornett and Lawton, the latter posthumously.
The inducted Wallabies, bar Campese, all captained the Test team.
Rugby World Cup 1999 winner Gregan led the Wallabies to a 2-1 Test series victory over the 2001 British & Irish Lions, while Catchpole wore the armband in almost half his 27 Test appearances. Ella, the most successful of three rugby-playing brothers, became the first indigenous player to captain Australia in any sport when he skippered the Wallabies on the 1982 tour of New Zealand, and Lawton, another No.10, steered Australia to their first whitewash of the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup campaign of 1929. Thornett skippered Australia to become the first nation in 67 years to defeat South Africa in consecutive Tests.
"The IRB Hall of Fame recognises those who have made an indelible mark on our sport through feats on the field of play, displays of great character or through their tireless and inspirational work in driving forward our great game," IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said.
"The British & Irish Lions are an institution, a symbol of our history, our present and our future, and tours to Australia have delivered bountiful unforgettable memories. These inductees, legends in their own right, have stamped their own mark on this incredible piece of rugby history."
The IRB Hall of Fame was launched in 2006 with the induction of Rugby School and William Webb Ellis, since when the following legends have been inducted:
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Dr Danie Craven, Sir Wilson Whineray, Gareth Edwards, John Eales, The 1888 Natives Team and Joseph Warbrick, Ned Haig and the Melrose club, Dr Jack Kyle, Philippe Sella, Hugo Porta, William Maclagan, Barry Heatlie, Bennie Osler, Cliff Morgan, Sir Anthony O'Reilly AO, Frik du Preez, Dr. Syd Millar, Willie John McBride, Sir Ian McGeechan, Jean Prat, Lucien Mias, Andre and Guy Boniface, Serge Blanco, Harry Vassall and Alan Rotherham, Cardiff RFC and Frank Hancock, David Gallaher, Barbarian FC and WP Carpmael, Mike Gibson, Dr Roger Vanderfield, Richard Littlejohn, Sir Nicholas Shehadie, John Kendal-Carpenter, David Kirk, Sir Brian Lochore, Nick Farr-Jones, Bob Dwyer, Francois Pienaar, Kitch Christie, Rod Macqueen, Gareth Rees, Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Jonah Lomu, Jake White, Brian Lima, Agustín Pichot, Martin Johnson CBE, John Smit, Sir Gordon Tietjens, Ian & Donald Campbell, Yoshihiro Sakata, the 1924 Romanian Olympic Team, the gold medal-winning USA Olympic Team of 1920 and 1924, Richard and Kennedy Tsimba, Alfred St George Hamersley, Vladimir Ilyushin and Waisale Serevi.