Vale Classic Wallaby Neil Betts

by Australian Rugby Union

The Australian and Queensland Rugby community is mourning the loss off former Wallabies and Queensland prop, Terence 'Neil' Betts who passed away on Saturday, aged 90.

Betts, Wallaby number 385, played three Tests for Australia from 1951-54.

The tough-as-teak prop beat out strong competition to win a starting spot in the Australian Test front row, making his debut alongside Queensland teammate Nev Cottrell in a 6-point loss to New Zealand at the SCG in 1951.

Two weeks later, he ran out in the gold jersey for the first time in his home state although once again tasted defeat to the All Blacks in another ferocious battle at the 'Gabba.

In playing that match, he earned the rare distinction of playing against New Zealand three times in a week, twice for the Wallabies and once for Queensland in a mid-week tour match in Toowoomba.

 

VALE | The Queensland Rugby community is in mourning following the passing of QRU’s oldest life member, Neil ‘Tiny’ Betts, at age 90 this past weekend. Neil was the youngest of three talented Rugby playing brothers, and represented Queensland between 1948 and 1956. He also earned three Wallabies Test caps and the unusual distinction of playing the All Blacks three times in one week. Betts featured in 174 first grade club games across Brothers, Wests and his beloved Souths between 1948 and 1958. He also served the game as both a coach and president at Souths. He became a State selector in 1960 and was a made a life member of the QRU in 1969. For more information and funeral details, head to redsrugby.com.au

A photo posted by Queensland Reds (@redsrugby) on


Debuting for Queensland in 1948, he was named Captain in 1954 before making the last of three Test appearances for the Wallabies against Fiji at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. At the time of his retirement in 1956, he had played 43 matches in the Queensland jersey - second most for the state at the time.

Betts was a legendary figure of the Souths Rugby Club in Queensland, where he served as President for 11 years after making 174 first grade appearances as player between 1948 and 1958.

Betts was later a state selector and in 1969 was made a life member of the Queensland Rugby Union.

Earning the nicknames "Tiny" and "The Settler" from his Wallabies teammates, Betts was a giant prop whose fearless leadership made him one of the most respected players of his era.

Former Wallabies Captain, Geoff 'Bunter' Shaw said Betts' contribution to the game will never be forgotten.

"Neil gave Souths Rugby Club, Queensland Rugby and Australian Rugby staunch service, both as a player and administrator," he said.

"It is always a sad day sad day when you loose such a huge contributor to Rugby." - Classic Wallabies Patron, Geoff Shaw.

 

"He was Souths club president for many years and was made a life member of the QRU in 1969."

The Funeral for Neil Betts will be held on Thursday, 9 February with a Requiem Mass starting at 11:00am (local time) at Mary Immaculate Church, 616 Ipswich Road, Annerley. Family and friends are invited to gather at Souths Rugby Club following the service.The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations to Souths Rugby Club would be appreciated.

Join the discussion