Mr John Eales AM
JOHN EALES didn’t want to take the field for his first rugby game as a child but his mother talked him into taking the plunge.
Australian rugby and the nation is in deep debt to Rosa Eales, for John became one of the game’s most successful and admired figures on and off the field, and a logical choice as a Queensland sporting legend.
It is no fluke that his career – 86 Tests for Australia and 112 games for Queensland – featured eras of exceptional prosperity for both teams. He was a pivotal factor in that success, as well as an athletic, skilful, tactically shrewd lock forward and a charismatic leader.
Neither side has been the same since his retirement a decade ago. He led Australia to multiple Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup successes which have since been so elusive. Eales played in both Australia’s World Cup wins 1991 and 1999 – the latter as skipper – and is one of only six players to win the World Cup twice.
Despite his huge responsibilities at national level, he was always deeply committed to Queensland’s cause.
The Australian Rugby Union recognised his wisdom by making him a member of their board, as well as his playing achievements by naming their player of the year medal after him.