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    Nobody inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame!

    A massive accolade for living Australian Rugby Legend, John Eales.
    And while one of seven, the honour is far greater being one of the first four Internationally Capped Players as well.


    Hall of Fame welcomes five greats in 2007

    (IRB.COM) Monday 24 December 2007

    Five new inductees were admitted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2007, joining 2006 inductees William Webb Ellis and Rugby School.

    The latest members, announced at the IRB Awards ceremony in Paris the night after the Rugby World Cup final, are Pierre de Coubertin, Wilson Whineray, Dr Danny Craven, Gareth Edwards and John Eales and all found their way into the IRB list via an objective public vote and then deliberations by a panel chaired by IRB Chairman Dr Syd Millar.

    Welsh scrum half in the 1970s Gareth Edwards is widely recognised as the greatest ever rugby player and, while he looked back with immense pride and satisfaction upon being awarded the trophy, he also rued the fact that rugby's biggest event had taken so long to come to fruition.

    "JPR (Williams) has already told me that if Wales had played in a World Cup, we would have won it!" he said.

    "I suppose we could only possibly assume who were the best in the world back then. If New Zealand had beaten South Africa then they were, and if we happened to go out there and beat them then we were, it was always 'maybe we are', it wasn't as tangible as it is today."

    Edwards was also quick to heap praise on the other members of those fabled Welsh sides of the 1970s.

    "It's lovely to receive this with so many of my former team mates here present, and I'd like to think that I'm sharing this with them because that's what the whole essence of the game is about. It's a team game and indeed if it wasn't for their contribution I wouldn't be receiving it."

    Fellow inductee, former Australia skipper John Eales, was also keen to deflect praise, although for him lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in 1999 does go down as the highlight of a glittering career.

    "Rugby is a very special game and people at all levels and of all ages get the opportunity to dream playing a sport like rugby," he said.

    "It is the one sport that welcomes and has a place for everyone, all body shapes, all sizes and that's very special. It's a gift that just keeps giving, no matter how long you're out of it, no matter how much you give to it you get so much more back.

    "As Gareth said, none of us would be here if it wasn't for our team mates. There are a lot of Australians that I've played with who made a lot of us look very good so I'd like to thank all the guys I stood on a pitch with down the years."

    Pierre de Coubertin


    The founder of the modern Olympics was not only a knowledgeable rugby player but also a respected referee and a keen promoter of the Game. After his return to from his first visit to the Rugby School at the age of 25, de Coubertin became an active promoter of physical education in general and Football Rugby in particular, which he succeeded to introduce into several school establishments in Paris, securing the long term future of the Game in France. He went on playing with his friends in Bois de Boulogne and although there is no clear information about his playing prowess, his knowledge of the Game was well respected by his peers, who elected him to referee the match between Stade Française and Racing Club de France in 1892 - now regarded as the inaugural French championship.

    Wilson Whineray (New Zealand)


    Born in 1935 he started playing scrum-half at a famous rugby nursery Auckland Grammar School. By the time he had toured Ceylon (Sri Lanka) with New Zealand U21 and Japan with the U23s he had graduated to prop forward, position he played for the rest of his career. He captained the All Blacks on the 1963/64 tour of the Northern Hemisphere when the tourists, lost only one match to Newport, though they drew 0-0 with Scotland. Regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest captains, Whineray after winning only six of his first 11 tests in charge, steadied himself and won 22 of the next 30 tests in charge. After the 1963 tour he took a year off the game, to retrun successfully in 1965 for the Springbok Series.

    Daniel (Dr.) Hartman Craven (South Africa)


    The young scrum-half of the 1931/32 Springboks, left his mark on the game as one of its greatest participants, thinkers and administrators in a career that spanned more than half a century. Craven, who developed the dive pass on the 1931 tour became the captain of the 1937 Springboks to New Zealand, still described today as “the best side to have left the shores of New Zealand”. On that tour he showed his versatility playing in a variety of positions, from scrum-half to centre and No8,and led his men to a memorable test series win. He became the coach of the 1951 Springboks, and from his seat at Stellenbosh University he became the President of South African Rugby Football Board and a respected and hard working representative on the IRB. His enormous contribution to the tactical and technical side of the game has won him the admiration of the world.

    Gareth Edwards (Wales)


    Born in a mining family in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, a village in Swansea Valley in July 1947. Thanks to an anonymous sponsor and his all-round athletic ability he went to Millfield School where his unusual talent was identified and developed. At 19 he was selected to play for Wales, the first of his 63 caps (53 for Wales and 10 for the Lions) and at 20 he was captain of his country. He was member of a rampant Welsh team, which won three Grand Slams, five Triple Crowns, five Championship titles and two shared ones. He was member of the most successful Lions teams ever, the 1971 team to New Zealand and the 1974 tourists to South Africa. Probably the world greatest player.

    John Eales (Australia)


    Born in 1970, the Brothers and Queensland lock forward established himself as one of the leading players in his position in the world, one of the very few to have collected two RWC gold medals. He made his international debut in a 63-6 demolition of Wales in his hometown of Brisbane in July 1991, just on time for the big adventure in the second world cup in 1991. He did not play in the first two matches in the 1991 RWC, only to re-emerge in Australia’s 300 test match against Wales, celebrated with a 38-3 win. He kept his place and was in the Australian team that beat England 12-6 to win the Webb Ellis trophy. He went on playing for Australia and in 1996 he became skipper, again in a home match against Wales in Brisbane. Three years later he touched the Webb Ellis trophy for the second time, when he, the captain of the winning Wallabies, received it from the Queen at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, after the RWC final against France.

    Find the other nominees here:

    19th Century- 2007 19th Century Nominees to the IRB Hall of Fame - Western Force Rugby Supporters Site

    20th Century- 2007 20th Century Nominees to the IRB Hall of Fame - Western Force Rugby Supporters Site

    21st Century- 2007 21st Century Nominees to the IRB Hall of Fame - Western Force Rugby Supporters Site

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by Burgs; 23-12-07 at 15:31.
    "Bloody oath we did!"

    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

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