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Australian Rugby Union today announced one of Australia’s greatest goal kickers, Michael Lynagh, as the third and final Wallaby Hall of Fame inductee for 2013.
Each year an eight-man Wallaby Hall of Fame Committee selects three Classic Wallabies for induction to the Hall of Fame. One must have played before World War II and two during the post-war period.
Lynagh joins Charlie ‘Chucker’ Eastes and Bill Cerutti as the 2013 Wallaby Hall of Fame inductees.
His induction into the Wallaby Hall of Fame comes just a week after he was named as one of Queensland Rugby Union’s inaugural inductees to their Hall of Fame.
Born in Brisbane in 1963 Lynagh was a schoolboy wonder at Gregory Terrace in both cricket and Rugby.
In 1978 his father Ian moved to Oregon State University to undertake a doctorate degree in psychology, a move that saw young Michael play little American football.
Some have suggest that this short stint in the United States playing American football gave him a harder, more competitive edge.
After returning to Australia, Michael’s studies led him to Human Movement at the University of Queensland, where he immediately signed up with the University Rugby team.
So impressed were the coaches, Lynagh was placed straight into the first grade side and was also fast-tracked to the State training squad.
In 1982, immediately after leaving school and before debuting in First Grade, Lynagh debuted for Queensland.
His impressive form with his State didn’t go unnoticed and in 1983 he was selected in the Wallabies squad to tour France.
While he didn’t get the chance to make his debut during his first Tour, he didn’t have to wait long with his first Gold Wallaby jersey presented to him a year later.
With the great Mark Ella the incumbent fly half in 1984, Lynagh made his Wallabies debut in the number 12 jersey against Fiji in Suva.
Lynagh kicked three penalty goals in the Wallabies 16-3 victory over their Pacific Island opponents and showed enough to earn a spot on the Wallabies famous 1984 Grand Slam Tour of Europe.
He played all four of the Grand Slam winning Tests at inside Centre and showed his absolute class with the boot during the fourth and final Test against Scotland, kicking five penalty goals and two conversions, securing 21 of Australia’s 37 points.
In 1985 Lynagh took over the number 10 jersey from Mark Ella, who retired, and set about making it his own.
Over the next decade Michael Lyangh became one of Australia’s greatest fly halves and world Rugby’s most prolific points scorers.
His ability to shine in the number 10 jersey was all the more impressive considering it had been previously occupied by Mark Ella and Paul McLean, considered two of Australia’s best in that position.
From 1985 through to 1992 Lynagh developed a strong partnership with his Wallabies captain and scrum half Nick Farr-Jones.
It was a partnership that lasted an impressive 47 Tests and helped deliver Australia their first Rugby World Cup triumph in 1991.
In 1993 following the retirement on Nick Farr-Jones, Lynagh took over the captaincy of the Wallabies and led them masterfully until his retirement in 1995.
Over an 11 year period Michael Lynagh earned 72 Test caps with the Wallabies, 12 of them as captain.
In all 72 of his appearances he showed, poise, skill, strategy and a laser-like kicking ability that scored points from anywhere on the pitch.
In total Lynagh kicked 140 conversions, 177 penalty goals, nine drop goals and scored 17 tries for, what was at the time, a world record points tally of 911.
Lynagh still holds the points scoring record for Australian players to this day, with just the retired Matt Burke coming close to Lynagh’s mark with 878 points to his name.
Since hanging up his boots Lynagh has forged an impressive media career in the UK with the likes of Sky Sports and ITV.
Michael Lynagh is the 29th Classic Wallaby to be inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame.
All three Classic Wallabies inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame in 2013 will be formally recognised at the John Eales Medal in late October.
Full Name: Michael Patrick Thomas Lynagh
Date of Birth: 25/10/1963
Place of Birth: Brisbane
School Attended: Gregory Terrace College
Wallaby Number: 642
Test Cap: 72 (12 as Captain)
Non-Test Cap: 36
Test Points: 911 (17 tries, 140 cons, 177 pg, 9 dg)
Position Played: Flyhalf, Centre
State: QLD 100 (1982-95)
Clubs: Queensland University, Benetton (Italy), Saracens (England)
Tours: 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1989 FR, 1990 NZ, 1991 NZ, 1991 WC, 1992 SA, 1992 UK, 1993 FR, 1995 WC
FULL LIST OF WALLABY HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
Michael Lynagh (Test debut 1984)
Charlie ‘Chucker’ Eastes (Test debut 1946)
Bill Cerutti (Test debut 1928)
Geoff Shaw (Test debut 1969)
Tony Shaw (Test debut 1973)
“Wally” Meagher (Test debut 1923)
Paul McLean (Test debut 1974)
John Eales (Test debut 1991)
Herbert “Paddy” Moran (Test debut 1908)
Andrew Slack (debut 1978)
Trevor Allan (Test debut 1946)
A.C. “Johnnie” Wallace (Test debut 1921)
Jon White (Test debut 1958)
Tony Miller (Test debut 1952)
Dr Alec Ross (Test debut 1925)
Des Connor (Test debut 1958)
Nick Farr-Jones (Test debut 1984)
Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop (Test debut 1932)
David Campese (Test debut 1982)
Mark Loane (Test debut 1973)
Tom Lawton (Test debut 1920)
John Hipwell (Test debut 1968)
Sir Nicholas Shehadie (Test debut 1947)
Cyril Towers (Test debut 1926)
Mark Ella (Test debut 1980)
John Thornett (Test debut 1955)
Ken Catchpole (Test debut 1961)
Col Windon (Test debut 1946)
Tom Richards (Test debut 1908)
HALL OF FAME PROCESS
Each year three past players – one from the pre-World War II era and two from the post-World War II period – are inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame.
Inductees are drawn from any Test teams dating back to the first international side in 1899.
To be eligible for inclusion in the Wallaby Hall of Fame, a player must have:
• Played at least one Test for Australia
• Been retired from Rugby for at least 10 years
• Made a major contribution to the game of Rugby
• Demonstrated outstanding ability, sportsmanship, commitment, character and personal contribution to their team and the game in their era.
While consideration is given to a players’ on-field career, induction is not based on statistical achievement alone.
The 2013 Hall of Fame committee consisted of the following: ARU President David Crombie as chairman, ARU CEO Bill Pulver, ARU past presidents Paul McLean and Peter Crittle, Qantas Wallabies captain James Horwill, former Wallabies and historians Max Howell and John Freedman, and Classic Wallabies co-presidents Simon Poidevin and Jeff Miller.