Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys AM has paid tribute to iconic Australian Kangaroo Tommy Raudonikis who died, aged 70.
Raudonikis played 29 Tests for the Kangaroos, including two as captain and was NSW’s first State of Origin captain, representing NSW on 24 occasions. He played 201 Premiership Games for Western Suburbs Magpies and 37 for the Newtown Jets.
“Tommy was one of a kind. There will never be another Tommy Raudonikis,’’ Mr V’landys said.
“Tommy was everything that makes rugby league the greatest game of all. He grew up in a migrant camp in Cowra and went on to become NSW’s first Origin captain.
“As a player there were none tougher. He was a brilliant halfback, what he lacked in stature he more than made up for in smarts and courage to become one of the best players of his era.”
Mr V’landys also acknowledged Raudonikis’ contribution to promoting rugby league.
“Few did more to promote our game than Tommy, whether it was at a luncheon on television or radio, Tommy was always there to talk up the game he loved. He made people laugh as one of the game’s great larrikins and epitomised the passion and tribalism that is unique to rugby league.”
“On behalf of the entire rugby league community, I send my deepest condolences to Tommy’s family and friends.”