Julian O'Neill

Last updated

Brian Julian O'Neill
Personal information
Born (1972-10-14) 14 October 1972 (age 48)
Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight92 kg (14 st 7 lb)
Position Fullback, Five-eighth, Centre
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1991–95 Brisbane Broncos 1053320210480
1992–93 Widnes 1233018
1995–96 London Broncos 3013127
1996–97 Western Reds 2612634178
1997–99 South Sydney 5491010238
2000–01 North Qld Cowboys 47141220300
2002–03 Wigan Warriors 3012720192
2003–05 Widnes Vikings 60131577338
2005 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 1224016
2006 Leigh Centurions 121582122
Total36199795241909
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1993–00 Queensland 1029026
1997 Queensland (SL)10000
1997 Australia (SL)10000
Source: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Brian Julian O'Neill (born 14 October 1972) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. Primarily a goal-kicking fullback or five-eighth and goal-kicker, during his 14-year top-grade career he played with several clubs in both Australia and England, which included two NSWRL premierships, a Challenge Cup victory as well as state and national representative honours. However O'Neill also regularly made headlines for his involvement in numerous controversial off-field incidents.

Contents

Early life

O'Neill was born in Hornsby, New South Wales on 14 October 1972. His mother, Patricia O'Neill, a nursing sister, was killed in a car crash when he was seven . His father, Brian Allan O'Neill, a gynaecologist, died of heart disease when Julian was eight [5]

O'Neill was raised by his grandparents and other family members from time to time. From age ten he attended boarding school at St Brendan's College in Yeppoon, Queensland. He was a prodigious young sportsman, holding school records in athletics and swimming. He represented as an Australian Schoolboy in both rugby league and cricket. [5]

Playing career

O'Neill was signed to a sporting scholarship with the Brisbane Broncos at age fifteen and was selected for the Australian Schoolboys side in 1989.[ citation needed ]

1990s

O'Neill was graded by the Broncos in 1990 and it was hoped he would take over the five-eighth position from Broncos great Wally Lewis.[ citation needed ] He showed greater form at fullback and played there in Brisbane's inaugural Grand Final victory in 1992. In the weeks following the grand final O'Neill travelled with the Broncos to England, where he played at fullback in the 1992 World Club Challenge against British champions Wigan, helping Brisbane become the first NSWRL club to win the match in Britain.

O'Neill is only 19 and he will play for Queensland and Australia. When I saw him play schoolboy football, I said to my president, Barry Nelson, 'We'll go big for this kid'. You normally give schoolboys $5,000. We offered him $40,000, and he still signed with the Broncos.

Canterbury-Bankstown CEO Peter "Bullfrog" Moore following the 1992 Winfield Cup Grand Final [6]

O'Neill briefly signed for English club Widnes, [7] who were then coached by Phil Larder and he appeared as a substitute in the 1993 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, only to suffer a 20-14 defeat by Wigan. O'Neill first represented Queensland, coming off the interchange bench, in Game II of the 1993 State of Origin series. He played at five-eighth in Game III. The Broncos reached the 1993 Winfield Cup Grand Final and O'Neill played at fullback as they again beat St. George for a second consecutive premiership title.

O'Neill then played at fullback in all three games of the 1994 State of Origin series under coach Wally Lewis. During the 1994 NSWRL season, O'Neill played at lock forward for defending premiers Brisbane when they hosted British champions Wigan for the 1994 World Club Challenge, but were defeated by the British club on this occasion. In 1994 and 1995 O'Neill was the Brisbane Broncos' top point-scorer. As his fame and confidence grew at the Broncos, O'Neill found himself at the centre of a number of alcohol-fuelled incidents. At Southport Magistrates Court in 1995 he faced five charges, following an incident at Conrad Jupiters Casino where he was reported to have urinated under a blackjack table, including indecent exposure and offensive behavior. He was found not guilty, three fraud charges were dropped and he was awarded costs. [5] However he walked away from the Broncos in 1995.

After being released by the Brisbane Broncos, O'Neill played a season with the London Broncos.

O'Neill made a fresh start back in Australia with the Western Reds in 1996 ARL season. Whilst playing for them he was selected to play for Queensland at five-eighth in Game II of the 1996 State of Origin series. He was playing for the Super League-aligned Western Reds during the 1997 split competition and made one state and one national representative appearance for the Super League representative teams: O'Neill was selected to play for Australia from the interchange bench in the inaugural Anzac Test and at fullback for Queensland in Game 1 of the Super League Tri-series. O'Neill set club records for most tries and goals in a match but was released by the Reds in 1997 after being fined and disqualified from driving in Perth's Magistrates Court. [5]

O'Neill made another clean start, switching to play in the 1997 ARL season with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He gained selection for Queensland, playing from the interchange bench in Game II of the 1997 State of Origin series. In 1998 however he suffered immense publicity and a $10,000 fine from the club over a 1999 pre-season tour incident where a drunken O'Neill defecated in the footwear of teammate Jeremy Schloss. This incident became known as "the poo in the shoe" affair, and gained much media attention and public ridicule after O'Neill reportedly uttered the alliterative line, "I just shat in Schlossy's shoe," to his teammates. [5] For a time he was engaged to Australian swimming star Samantha Riley, but the engagement ended after Riley, who was renowned for having a clean-living reputation despite being embroiled in a drugs controversy herself in the lead-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

2000s

O'Neill was signed to play the 2000 NRL season for the North Queensland Cowboys and was selected to play at five-eighth in Game II of the 2000 State of Origin series. He was then named the Cowboys' player of the year. [8] He made a total of ten career State of Origin appearances.

In 2001, O'Neill's 13-month-old daughter, Piper, was killed when a television set fell onto her in his family's home. [5] [9] O'Neill returned to England the 2002 Super League season for the Wigan Warriors, enjoying victory in the Challenge Cup, until 2003 when he completed a mid-season move to the Widnes Vikings.

O'Neill returned to rugby league in England in 2005 and played half the season with the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, then switching back to former club the Widnes Vikings until their relegation from the Super League that year. He then moved to also relegated Leigh Centurions for the 2006 season.

Sources and footnotes

  1. NRL Stats [ permanent dead link ]
  2. nrlstats.com Archived 7 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. rugbyleagueproject.com
  4. yesterdayshero.com.au Archived 14 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Australian Story article
  6. Masters, Roy (27 September 1992). "Broncos rejoice, but the plotting begins". The Sydney Morning Herald . Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 27. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. Hadfield, Dave (20 April 1993). "O'Neill facing cap or cup dilemma: Widnes may summon Australian for the Challenge Cup final". The Independent . Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  8. Honours Archived 30 October 2011 at WebCite at cowboys.com.au
  9. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2002/apr/27/rugbyleague.wiganwarrior

Related Research Articles

Darren Lockyer Australian TV commentator and former professional rugby league footballer

Darren James Lockyer is an Australian television commentator and former professional rugby league footballer. Lockyer was an Australian international and Queensland State representative captain, who played his entire professional career with the Brisbane Broncos.

Glenn Lazarus Australian rugby league footballer and coach, and politician

Glenn Patrick Lazarus is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer, and a former Australian Senator. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative prop, Lazarus won premierships with the Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm, who he also captained. He is the only player in the history of the game to win grand finals with three separate clubs, with the grand final wins also being the first for each club. After his retirement from football he assisted several NRL clubs in a coaching capacity.

Paul Vautin Australia international rugby league footballer and sports pundit/broadcaster

Paul "Fatty" Vautin is an Australian football commentator and formerly a professional rugby league footballer, captain and coach. He has provided commentary for the Nine Network's coverage of rugby league since joining the network in 1992 and also hosted The Footy Show from its beginnings in 1994 opposite co-host Peter Sterling, until 2017. An Australian Kangaroos test and Queensland State of Origin representative lock or second-row forward, Vautin played club football in Brisbane with Wests, before moving to Sydney in 1979 to play with Manly-Warringah, whom he would captain to the 1987 NSWRL premiership. He also played for Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, and in England for St Helens.

Dale Shearer, also known by the nickname of "Rowdy", is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative of Aboriginal heritage, he played club football in Queensland, New South Wales and England. His playing career included a NSWRL Premiership win with Manly-Warringah in 1987 and a Rugby League World Cup Final win in 1988. Ten years after his retirement, Shearer was still the all-time top try-scorer in State of Origin and he was named on the wing of the Indigenous Australian team of the century.

Kevin David Walters is an Australian professional rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and a former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

Steven "Pearl" Renouf is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. He was known as one of the sport's greatest centres. Renouf set numerous records for the Brisbane Broncos club. After spending eleven years with Brisbane, which yielded four premierships, he left Australia to play for English club Wigan Warriors, where he spent two seasons before retiring. He was named in Australia's Indigenous team of the century (1908–2007).

William Carne is an Australian former rugby footballer who played rugby league for the Brisbane Broncos from 1990 to 1996, as well as representing both Queensland and Australia and rugby union for the Queensland Reds. An attacking player with dangerous speed, he played at wing and fullback.

Joel Moon Australian rugby league footballer

Joel Moon is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played as a centre and five-eighth in the 2000s and 2010s. He last played for the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League.

Kerrod Walters is an Australian former rugby league footballer. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative hooker, he played most of his club football with the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1992 and 1993 NSWRL Premierships. With twin brother Kevin and older brother Steve, Kerrod Walters holds a unique place in Australian League history.

Andrew Gee is an Australian rugby league administrator and former football operations manager at the Brisbane Broncos of the NRL. Also a former player with the club, he was a Queensland State of Origin representative prop, and at the time of his retirement, held the Broncos' club record for most appearances of any forward.

Mark Hohn is an Australian former rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A front-rower, he represented Queensland in the State of Origin on nine occasions and played one Test for Australia as a reserve forward against France in mid-1994. Hohn played club football in Australia for the Fortitude Valley Diehards, Brisbane Broncos and South Queensland Crushers, and in England for Wigan and Hunslet.

Terry Matterson is an Australian rugby league coach and former player. Matterson played in Australia's premiership for the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos, and was also selected to play in the State of Origin for New South Wales once in 1989. He was a goal-kicking lock and he played the majority of his club football for the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 1992 and 1993 premierships, in addition to stints with the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and the London Broncos. He worked as a head coach in the Super League for the Castleford Tigers between 2005 and 2011. From October 2013 Matterson was the head coach of the United States.

Peter Ryan is an Australian former rugby league and rugby union footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. A Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played ten seasons with the Brisbane Broncos and finished his career playing rugby union for the ACT Brumbies.

Paul Hauff is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s. A Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative fullback, he played his whole top-level career in Australia for the Brisbane Broncos, later moving to their sister club in England, the London Broncos.

Alan Cann is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s. A Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played club football mostly with the Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won consecutive grand finals in 1992 and 1993, and also with the Adelaide Rams.

John Plath is an Australian former rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s. He played in all of the Brisbane Broncos' first four grand final wins from the interchange bench and retired as the most-capped Bronco not to have played representative football.

The 1992 World Club Challenge match was contested by the 1991–92 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan and the 1992 NSWRL season's premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. The match took place on Friday night, 30 October in England, during the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season. It was also played less than a week after the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final. A crowd of 17,764 turned out at Central Park, Wigan for the match which was refereed by New Zealand's Dennis Hale, the same referee as for the World Cup final one week earlier.

The 1994 MMI World Club Challenge was a replay of the 1992 World Club Challenge, with 1993–94 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan facing the 1993 NSWRL season premiers, the Brisbane Broncos, this time in Australia. Wigan were clearly the dominant club in the English game, having won the previous four consecutive Rugby Football League Championships and Challenge Cup tournaments. The Broncos, having won consecutive premierships in 1992 and 1993, were the dominant team in the Australian game at the time. In the World Club Challenge–this time played unusually late in the year–Wigan were looking to get revenge for their loss against Brisbane in the sides' previous encounter, and obtained a strong first-half lead. The English club then survived a second-half comeback from Brisbane and won the match, cementing their position as the world's dominant rugby league club of the period.

Lachlan Coote Scotland international rugby league footballer

Lachlan Coote is a Scotland and Great Britain international rugby league footballer who plays as a fullback for St Helens in the Super League.

Jake Mamo Maltese/Australian professional rugby league footballer

Jake Mamo is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a fullback, winger or centre for the Warrington Wolves in the Betfred Super League.