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Wally Lewis

Five-eighth

Player Bio

Honoured:
1999
Birthplace:
Brisbane, QLD
Date of Birth:
01 December 1959
Nickname:
The King
Debut Team:
Valleys
Opposition:
Northern Suburbs
Date:
09 April 1978
Venue:
Neumann Oval, Albion
Representative:
Combined Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Clubs:
Brisbane Valleys, Wakefield Trinity, Wynumm Manly, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Seagulls

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1979, 1984, 1986
  • Kangaroo Tours: 1982, 1986
  • Australian captain: 24 Tests
  • Kangaroo Tour captain :1986
  • Golden Boot award: 1984
  • Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year: 1988
  • Harry Sunderland Medal: 1988
  • Australian Rugby League Team of the Century: 2008
  • Queensland Team of the Century: 2008
  • Immortal: 1999
  • Rated No. 7 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1980s: 2004
First Class Games
441
Points
854
Tries
197

Biography

Wally Lewis came to embody State of Origin football. A young lock forward in the inaugural Origin game in 1980, he made 30 appearances as five-eighth and captain between 1981 and 1991, winning eight man-of-the match awards.

Lewis made his Test debut in 1981, against France, the only Queensland-based player in the side.

He lost the starting five-eighth job to Brett Kenny on the 1982 Kangaroo tour, but regained the No. 6 jumper in 1983 and was unchallenged as Australian captain from 1984 to 1989.

Lewis was tough, brave and passionate, with a magnificent kicking game and a brilliant pass. In the second Test at Wigan in 1982 he came on in the second half and threw a 25–metre bullet that set up a try for Mal Meninga.

His kicking display on a muddy SCG in game two of the 1984 Origin series was phenomenal, as he kept turning the Blues around to help seal the series.

At the Sydney Football Stadium in 1989, with Queensland shattered by injury, he inspired one of the most courageous victories seen in modern rugby league.

Lewis dominated Brisbane club football in the '80s, with Valleys and then Wynnum-Manly. He was a good but rarely great player with the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Seagulls, but his legendary status was already sealed.

Following his retirement, a bronze statue was erected at Lang Park, and in 1999 he was named an ''Immortal''.

“The high priest of the spectacular.”

Ron McAuliffe Former QRL boss

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Valleys Brisbane Brisbane Club Competition 1978 1983 109 70 10 4 244
Valleys Brisbane Official Pre-Season 1979 1983 20 14 10 1 65
Valleys Brisbane President's Cup 1980 1980 1 1 - - 3
Valleys Brisbane State League 1982 1983 11 5 - 3 22
Wakefield Trinity England First Class Games 1983 1984 10 6 - - 24
Wynnum Manly Brisbane Club Competition 1984 1987 52 26 10 3 127
Wynnum Manly Official Pre-Season
1984
1986
1984
1987
7 1 - 3 7
Wynnum Manly State League 1984 1987 21 4 3 1 23
Brisbane Broncos Premiership 1988 1990 46 20 11 - 102
Brisbane Broncos Mid-Week Competitions 1988 1989 4 2 - - 8
Gold Coast Seagulls Premiership 1991 1992 34 6 3 - 30
Gold Coast Seagulls Official Pre-Season 1991 1992 3 2 - - 8

Representative Career

Intercity

Intercity
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Combined Brisbane Mid-Week Competitions 1978 1987 21 5 7 - 31
Combined Brisbane Touring Teams 1979 1979 1 - - - -
Brisbane City Queensland Country 1981 1981 1 1 - - 3

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Queensland Interstate Series New South Wales 1979 1981 4 - - - -
Queensland State of Origin New South Wales 1980 1991 31 7 1 2 30
Queensland Touring Sides
1982
1987
1982
1987
2 2 - - 6
Queensland Tour Matches 1983 1983 5 3 3 - 18

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests and World Cup 1981 1991 34 11 - 2 45
Australia Tour Matches
1982
1985
1988
1982
1986
1989
20 9 9 - 51
Australia Rest of the World 1988 1988 1 1 - - 4

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
South Queensland Papua New Guinea 1981 1981 1 1 - - 3
Oceania Europe 1984 1984 1 - - - -
Queensland Maroons NSW Maroons 1987 1987 1 - - - -

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