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Australian Rugby Union today announced Classic Wallaby winger and former administrator, Charles Eastes MBE and pre-World War II Classic Wallaby prop turned administrator, Bill Cerutti as the first two Wallaby Hall of Fame inductees 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
Charles Eastes played six Tests for Australia immediately after the Second World War as a robust winger, scoring two tries during his time in the Australian jumper.
Known to his mates as ‘Chucker’, Eastes is arguably the greatest winger in the history of Australian Rugby.
Unfortunately, his greatest games were played overseas, in pre-television days, which meant his deeds are remembered only by those lucky enough to have seen him in action during an injury shortened career.
Eastes had a very unique and highly effective running style that saw him raise his knees high, his thighs virtually parallel to the ground.
Along with his exceptional speed Eastes was known for his strong fend, which some historians have suggested was more like a rabbit punch than a palm, as well as a wonderful outside swerve.
He was a marvel at beating his opposition wing and the fullback in a quest for the line and is considered one of the great finishers at both State and International level.
Charlie learned his Rugby in the Sydney seaside suburb of Manly. First at Manly Intermediate High School and then with the St. Mathew’s Church juniors before gravitating to the Manly Club.
He joined the RAAF during the war, with overseas posts from April 1944 - October 1945, but still managed to get leave on Saturdays to play for his club.
It was his achievements at Club Rugby level during the war years that saw Charlie earn a call up to the NSW side and then the Wallabies, his debut coming in the Wallabies first post-war Test, against New Zealand in Dunedin in 1946.
Between 1946 and 1949 he pulled on the Gold jersey 22 times, six of which were in Test matches.
Sadly injury brought an end to what could have been an electrifying career, however Charlie was not lost to the game.
After leaving the playing field he took up a number of administrative roles, which included being appointed Manager of the Wallaby tour of South Africa in 1969.
Charlie also served as President of the Manly Club for three years, President of the Sydney Rugby Union Club for 10 years, President of the NSWRU for four years and he became a Vice- President of the ARFU.
In 1977 Charlie was awarded an MBE for his services to the game of Rugby.
Charlie ‘Chucker’ Eastes passed away in August 1995 aged 70.
Bill Cerutti, or ‘Wild Bill’ as he was known to friends and opponents alike, was also a lifelong contributor to the game.
Born on 7 May, 1909, Cerutti was the son of an Italian immigrant and represented Australia in 21 Tests, played in 46 interstate games and an incredible 247 first-grade matches.
Originally a soccer player it was fate that led ‘Wild Bill’ to Rugby.
In 1925, at the age of 15 his soccer team had a bye and while on his way to a practice run at a local park, a friend persuaded him to spend the afternoon watching a local Rugby match.
Fascinated by the rucks, scrums and line outs, ‘Wild Bill’ decided to try his hand at Rugby.
A former school mate who was playing for YMCA, then in the top Sydney competition, secured Bill a run in the second row of the YMCA third grade side, coached by Bill Fry.
The following year, Bill attended the YMCA pre-season trials, relishing the physicality of the new game, and played in the thirds, seconds and firsts on the same day.
Because he was still 17 YMCA made him play two second grade games, but after that he was selected in the first grade team.
Word soon spread about this tough, squat character with a fair turn of speed, and he was picked in a metropolitan team to tour NSW country districts.
After plying his trade at Club and State level for two years, Cerutti was selected in the Australian side and earned his first Test cap in 1928 against the All Blacks in Wellington.
Cerutti was as tough as nails and never took a step backwards.
As a prop he was never beaten in his position during his career, he was strong, fearless and surprisingly fast when he found space.
As a prop, he played 21 Tests from 1928 to 1937, won 10 of those matches, and scored three tries from the front row.
Following his playing days Bill went on to become the Wallabies team manager.
He was in charge of the 1949 side that went to New Zealand and became the first to bring home the Bledisloe Cup from a series played on New Zealand soil.
Bill Cerutti passed away in July 1965 aged 56.
Bill Cerutti and Charles Eastes are the 27th and 28th inductees to the Wallaby Hall of Fame.
A third Hall of Fame inductee for 2013 will be announced in the countdown to The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship match between the Qantas Wallabies and Springboks in Brisbane on 7 September.
Full Name: William Hector Cerutti
Date of Birth: 7/05/1909
Place of Birth: Newtown, Sydney
Date of Death: 3/07/1965
School Attended: Newtown HS, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 246
Test Caps: 21
Non-Test Caps: 21
Test Points: 9 (3 tries)
Position Played: Prop
State: NSW 58 - including the Waratahs 4 Tests and 6 games (1927-39)
Clubs: YMCA, Glebe-Balmain, Drummoyne, Parramatta, Easts, St. George
Tours: 1928 NZ, 1931 NZ, 1933 SA, 1936 NZ
Full Name: Charles Colbran Eastes
Date of Birth: 12/07/1925
Place of Birth: Epping, Sydney
Date of Death: 21/08/1995
School Attended: Manly HS, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 327
Test Caps: 6
Non-Test Caps: 16
Test Points: 6 (2 tries)
Position Played: Winger
State: NSW 15 (1946-51)
Tours: 1946 NZ, 1947-48 UK
FULL LIST OF WALLABY HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
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.