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John O'Neill

Prop

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Griffith, NSW
Date of Birth:
09 May 1943
Nickname:
Lurch
Debut Team:
Country Seconds
Opposition:
City Seconds
Date:
-
Venue:
Sydney Cricket Ground, NSW
Representative:
Country, City, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Career

Milestones
  • Premierships: 1967-68, 1970-73)
  • Kangaroo Tour: 1973
  • Rated No. 77 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
  • Named in NRL Team of the 1970s: 2005
First Class Games
272
Points
69
Tries
23

Biography

John O'Neill played in nine grand finals, winning premierships with Souths before transforming Manly from bridesmaids to champions. O'Neill, a tough, rugged prop forward from Gunnedah, joined the Rabbitohs in 1965, to become part of a famous forward pack that also included John Sattler, Elwyn Walters, Ron Coote and Bob McCarthy. He became renowned for his barging runs and brick-wall defence.

In the famous 1970 grand final, O'Neill was even more punishing after Sattler suffered a fractured jaw and his performance that day ensured his selection in the 1970 World Cup squad.

In the final of that tournament, O'Neill dished out plenty of punishment in the first half, and was the target for retribution in the second.

Afterwards, he was battered, his shin split to the bone, but all he could talk about was how Billy Smith had played on with a badly gashed leg.

O'Neill was a force in Manly's initial first-grade grand final win, a 19–14 victory over Easts in 1972, and staged a running battle with his opposite number, Englishman Cliff Watson, when the Sea Eagles beat Cronulla 10–7 a year later.

These displays helped earn him a place in the 1973 Kangaroos squad, and he made his Test debut on that tour.

The following season, he was a key player in the Australian team that won the Ashes-deciding third Test.

“I regarded O’Neill as a man of great character and great courage, and I realized he was the sort of forward Manly needed up front.”

Ken Arthuson Manly supremo

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Gunnedah 1964 1964 - - - - -
South Sydney Rabbitohs Premiership
1965
1975
1971
1976
140 11 - - 33
South Sydney Rabbitohs Official Pre-Season
1965
1975
1971
1976
37 5 - - 15
South Sydney Rabbitohs State Cup 1965 1965 1 1 - - 3
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Premiership 1972 1974 51 3 - - 9
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Official Pre-Season 1972 1974 9 - - - -
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Amco Cup 1974 1974 1 - - - -

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Country Seconds City Seconds 1964 1964 1 - - - -
City Seconds Country Seconds
1965
1969
1974
1965
1969
1974
3 - - - -
City Firsts Country Firsts 1970 1971 2 - - - -

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales Interstate Series Queensland
1967
1969
1971
1967
1969
1971
4 - - - -
New South Wales Great Britain 1970 1970 1 - - - -

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests
1970
1972
1970
1975
10 2 - - 6
Australia Tour Matches
1970
1972
1970
1973
9 - - - -

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Northern Division 1964 1964 1 1 - - 3
Northern Division France 1964 1964 1 - - - -
NSW Colts France 1964 1964 1 - - - -
Kangaroos The Rest 1974 1974 1 - - - -

Hall Of Fame Members