Ian Walsh (rugby league)

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Ian Walsh
Personal information
Nickname Abdul
Born (1933-03-20)20 March 1933
Bogan Gate, New South Wales, Australia
Died 4 April 2013(2013-04-04) (aged 80)
Forbes, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Position Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1950–51 Condobolin
1952–53 Parkes
1954–55 Forbes
1956–61 Eugowra
1962–67 St George 94 4 0 0 12
Total 94 4 0 0 12
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1951 Western Districts 1 0 0 0 0
1958–61 Country Firsts 1 0 0 0 0
1962–66 City Firsts 4 0 0 0 0
1959–66 New South Wales 4 0 0 0 0
1959–66 Australia 25 2 1 0 8
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1966–67 St George 44 31 11 2 70
1971–72 Parramatta 45 16 2 27 36
Total 89 47 13 29 53
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1965–66 City Firsts 2 2 0 0 100
1965 New South Wales 1 1 0 0 100
1965–66 Australia 5 3 0 2 60
As of 10 January 2016
Source: rugbyleagueproject.org

Ian John Walsh (20 March 1933 – 4 April 2013) was an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. He was a hooker with the St. George Dragons during their 11-year consecutive premiership winning run from 1956 to 1966. He was a representative in the Australian national team and captained his country in 10 Test matches from 1963 to 1966.


Born on 20 March 1933 in Bogan Gate near Parkes in western New South Wales, Walsh played in country sides at Parkes, Forbes and Eugowra. He was selected to represent the Western Division when they hosted the 1951 French touring side and lost. It was as a country representative that his international début was against New Zealand in 1959, and later that year was selected for the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour. He played in all six Tests and in 17 minor tour matches.

St. George Dragons

Walsh joined St George in 1962 and played ninety-six games till 1967, playing in four winning Grand Finals (1962, 1963, 1965 and 1966). His first Test as captain was on the 1963 Tour of Great Britain which saw the Kangaroos become the first Australian touring team in 50 years to win the Ashes. He was skipper for the "Swinton Massacre" 2nd test of that tour when the Kangaroos registered the biggest win in Anglo-Australian test history, 50-12. After the retirement of Norm Provan in 1965, Walsh took on the role of St. George's captain-coach. In 1966 he achieved a rare distinction becoming the only player to captain-coach his country to an Ashes series victory and his club to a premiership. He played a total of twenty-five tests for Australia from 1959 to 1966.[1] The Dragons' star players were growing old, the young and brutal South Sydney Rabbitohs were looming as title contenders and the inevitable end to the run had to be approaching.[2] Nevertheless, Walsh was able to lead the Dragons against the Balmain Tigers to their 11th straight victory and the end of their run.

Post playing and accolades

After retiring as a player Walsh coached the Parramatta Eels to the semi finals of the 1971 NSWRFL season before becoming a successful columnist with the Daily Telegraph for over 20 years and a Country and State selector. He worked in sales in the printing industry in Sydney.

In February 2008, Walsh was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[3][4]

Walsh died on 4 April 2013 at the age of 80 after a long illness.[5]


  • Whiticker, Alan (2004) Captaining the Kangaroos, New Holland, Sydney
  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
  • Writer, Larry (1995) Never Before, Never Again, Pan MacMillan, Sydney


  1. ^ Writer, p. 415
  2. ^ Writer, p. 413
  3. ^ Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Rugby league great Ian Walsh dies". Sky News. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Billy Wilson
Australian national rugby league captain
Succeeded by
Peter Gallagher
Preceded by
Norm Provan
St George Dragons

Succeeded by
Johnny Raper
Preceded by
Ron Lynch
Parramatta Eels

Succeeded by
Dave Bolton
Preceded by


Succeeded by

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