Queensland Sport Hall of Fame

Mr Mal Meninga AM

He is one of the gameís all-time greats. A player, coach and statesman of the highest order.

Born in Bundaberg of South Seas Island heritage, a product of Maroochydore State High School and 10 years a policeman, he has made a contribution to the game like few others. Not just via block-busting runs, bone-crunching tackles, pressure-packed goal-kicking or inspirational captaincy. And not just his ability as a coach to build a family-like environment that saw the Queensland State of Origin side reign supreme for eight years. He set personal standards that are above and beyond.

His career highlights are endless. Seven years playing with Souths in Brisbane when for most that was the pinnacle, two high-impact years with St.Helenís in England and nine years with the Canberra Raiders. More than 300 first-grade games, 32 State of Origin games for Queensland and 46 games for Australia - 23 as captain. All despite an arm he broke more times than he might care to remember.

Who can forget the first Origin game in 1980? In front of a capacity crowd of 33,000 at Lang Park, on his 20th birthday, Meninga scored the first Origin points via a penalty goal. He finished with 7 from 7 as the Maroons beat the Blues 20-10 and one of world sportís great rivalries was born.

He was the only player to make four Kangaroo tours of England Ö the 1982 Invincibles, the 1986 Unbeatables, and the teams of 1990 and í94 when he was captain.

Inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, he became a Australian rugby league Hall of Famer in 2003 and was named in the Queensland and Australian Teams of the Century in 2008. As Queensland celebrated 150 years in 2009 he was named one of the Stateís 150 icons

He coached Canberra for five years, coached Queensland for 10 years through a golden era of nine series wins, and since 2016 has coached the Australian team, restoring pride in the green and gold jumper just as he did the Maroon strip.

A big, big man with an even bigger standing in Australian sport . A hall of famer, an icon and an immortal Ö and now the 18th legend in the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.

 
 
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