|Full name||Steve Ella|
|Born||28 July 1960|
Mount Pritchard, New South Wales, Australia
|Position||Centre, Five-eighth, Fullback|
Steve Ella (born 28 July 1960) is an Australian former rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s. He was a utility back for the Parramatta Eels, New South Wales and Australia, playing in 4 Tests for Australia between 1983 and 1985. He is a cousin of the Ella brothers who were prominent in Australian rugby union in the 1980s.
Steve Ella had a ten-year career with Parramatta playing every position in the Eels’ backline, though mostly playing at either centre or five-eighth.
Nicknamed the "Zip Zip Man", Ella was a member of Parramatta's star studded backline of the early 1980s, alongside Brett Kenny, Mick Cronin, Peter Sterling and Eric Grothe, Sr.. It was only the presence of five-eighth Kenny and the partnership he had with halfback Sterling that saw Ella play most of his first grade games in the centres where Cronin he formed the NSWRL premiership's most lethal centre pairing alongside.
He was a member of four Premiership winning sides at Parramatta in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986 as well as the 1984 Grand Final loss to Canterbury-Bankstown. Ella scored one try in each of the 1981 and 1982 Grand Final victories over Newtown and Manly-Warringah.
After having scored 79 tries for Parramatta between 1981 and 1985, Ella played in England with Wigan during the 1985–86 season, scoring twelve tries in 23 games. He played stand-off in the 14—8 victory over New Zealand during the 1985 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain and France at Central Park, Wigan on Sunday 6 October 1985,played stand-off, scored two tries, and was man of the match in the 34—8 victory over Warrington in the 1985 Lancashire County Cup Final during the 1985–86 season at Knowsley Road, St. Helens, on Sunday 13 October 1985, and played stand-off in the 18—4 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1985–86 John Player Special Trophy Final during the 1985–86 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 11 January 1986.
When Ella returned to Parramatta early in the 1986 season, his career took a downturn that began when he suffered a gashed hand in early May,and then a shoulder injury in the Panasonic Cup semi-final against Manly. This shoulder injury recurred in June and again after Ella played two more games in July. After an arthroscope revealed ligament damage in Ella’s shoulder, he missed five more games but an intensive course in physiotherapy allowed him to return and participate in a fourth premiership team before a full-scale off-season surgery. However, in his second match of 1987 Ella slipped his shoulder and missed the rest of the season after a series of shoulder problems. There would be an arthroscopy in March featuring the removal of loose bone fragments, and a second full-scale surgery at the end of May. Steve Ella would return for the 1988 season and escape injuries, producing several very good displays for a struggling Parramatta team. Steve Ella finished his career in 1989 as captain of Wakefield Trinity in 1988–89. Ella did return to Parramatta for the 1989 season, but did not play a single game due to injury. After a specialist advised him not to risk further damage to his shoulder, Ella announced his retirement in July two weeks shy of his twenty-ninth birthday.
|City Firsts||2||1983, 1985|
|New South Wales||8||1982-85|
|Rest of the World||1||1988|
Ella scored 544 career points for Parramatta in 156 first grade premiership games putting him in third place on the club's all-time points list. In 1982 he was the season's top try-scorer and also set the club record with a total of 23 tries in a season, until Semi Radradra scored a total of 24 tries in the 2015 season thus breaking the record. He scored 92 career tries for Parramatta placing him in fourth place on the club's all time tryscoring table behind Jarryd Hayne, Brett Kenny and Luke Burt.
Steve Ella made seven State of Origin appearances for New South Wales between 1983 and 1985.
He was first selected for the Blues in Game 1 of the 1983 State of Origin series at Lang Park in Brisbane. After originally being named in the starting side, at the last moment Blues coach Ted Glossop decided to start veteran Manly-Warringah pivot Alan Thompson instead and play Ella from the bench. The late change didn't work and after a poor game from Thompson, Ella came on in the second half and scored a try to give NSW a chance at victory, though Queensland went on to win the game 24—12. He was then selected in the centres alongside Mick Cronin for Game 2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground where he scored a try in the Blues' 10—6 triumph in muddy conditions for their sole win of the series. That game was notable because other than fullback Marty Gurr from Eastern Suburbs, the entire NSW backline consisted of Parramatta players (Grothe and Hunt on the wings, Ella and Cronin in the centres and Kenny and Sterling the halves). The NSW side that night was captained by Parramatta captain Ray Price while Eels forward Stan Jurd was on the bench. He retained his place in the side for Game 3 of the series in Brisbane, though Qld, led by their captain and Test 5/8 Wally Lewis outclassed NSW 43—22 after leading by 33—0 midway through the second half.
Ella then played Games 1 and 3 of 1984 and in all three games of 1985 when the Blues eventually had a series triumph over Queensland.
At the national level, he was selected for the 1982 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France and appeared in twelve minor games, though he didn't play a Test on tour. In the tour match against Wales in Cardiff, Ella scored four tries equaling the record for an Australian in a full international. On that same tour in a game in France against Aquitaine in Villeneuve he scored seven tries equaling a record set by Cec Blinkhorn in the 1920s.
Steve Ella made his Test début for Australia against New Zealand in the Second Test of 1983 at Lang Park. After missing the 1984 Ashes Series against the touring Great Britain Lions, he made his return to the test team for the three test 1985 Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand.This would prove to be the last occasion when Ella represented Australia.
Ella also made two appearances for NSW City. He made his first appearance for City in 1983, playing 5/8 and scoring a try in their 30—14 win over NSW Country in Newcastle. His last appearance, also in Newcastle, came in City's 18—12 win in 1985 with Ella again playing five-eighth.
The Parramatta Eels are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta. The Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club was formed in 1947, and their home ground was Parramatta Stadium. As of 2019, Parramatta's home ground stadium has been rebuilt and they now play as the majority tenants at Bankwest Stadium, which sits on the same site that was once Parramatta Stadium.
Peter Maxwell John Sterling OAM nicknamed Sterlo, is an Australian rugby league commentator, television personality and former player. He was one of the all-time great halfbacks and a major contributor to Parramatta Eels' dominance of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership in the 1980s. Sterling played eighteen Tests for the Australian national team between 1982 and 1988. He also played in thirteen State of Origins for New South Wales, winning man of the match on four occasions. Sterling played in four premiership-winning sides with Parramatta in 1981–1983 and 1986 and has been inducted into the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame. His time spent playing for English club Hull F.C. also earned him membership in their hall of fame.
Eric "Guru" Grothe Sr., also known by the nickname of "Guru", is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. A New South Wales and Australian representative wing, he played club football for the Parramatta Eels with whom he won four NSWRL premierships. Since retiring, Grothe has been named amongst the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century
Parramatta Stadium was a sports stadium in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 23 kilometres west of Sydney's central business district. The stadium was the home ground of several western Sydney-based sports teams, at the time of closure the most notable were the Parramatta Eels of the National Rugby League and the Western Sydney Wanderers of the A-League.
Raymond Allan Price OAM, is an Australian former dual-code international rugby union and rugby league footballer. He was nicknamed “Mr Perpetual Motion” for his hard, intimidating style of play in league at lock forward. Price played rugby league for Sydney's Parramatta Eels club, with whom he won four NSWRL premierships, a Dally M Medal and a Rothmans Medal. He also played in State of Origin for New South Wales.
Jack Gibson OAM was an Australian rugby league coach, player, and commentator. He is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the sport's history. Nicknamed 'Supercoach', he was highly regarded not only for his coaching record but also for his thirst for innovation, as he introduced new coaching and training methods into the sport in the 1970s, and 1980s, when first-grade rugby league was then still played and coached on a semi-professional basis.
Brett "Bert" Edward Kenny is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a centre and five-eighth for the Australian national team and New South Wales Blues representative sides, and the Parramatta Eels. He played in 17 Tests, made 17 State of Origin appearances and won 4 premierships with Parramatta. He is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.
Jarrod McCracken is a New Zealand former rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He is a former captain of the New Zealand national rugby league team and is the son of New Zealand rugby league international, Ken McCracken. McCracken played club football in Australia, captaining both the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers during his career which ended with a spear tackle which he successfully sued for. During his time in the game, McCracken was regarded as one of the hardest running and most damaging centres in the world.
Michael William Cronin OAM is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and coach. He was a goal-kicking centre for the Australian national team and a stalwart for the Parramatta Eels club. He played in 22 Tests and 11 World Cup matches between 1973 and 1982. Cronin retired as the NSWRL Premiership's and the Australian Kangaroos' all-time highest point-scorer and has since been named amongst the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century.
Terence Colin Fearnley was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach.
The 1981 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 74th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve clubs, including six of 1908's foundation teams and another six from around Sydney competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Parramatta and Newtown clubs. NSWRFL clubs also competed in the 1981 Tooth Cup and players from NSWRFL clubs were selected to represent the New South Wales team.
The 1982 NSWRFL season was the 75th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and saw the New South Wales Rugby Football League’s first expansion since 1967 with the introduction of the first two clubs from outside the Sydney area in over half a century: the Canberra Raiders and the Illawarra Steelers. Thus a total of 14 clubs competed for the J.J. Giltinan Shield and newly-created Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. This season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1982 KB Cup which was won by Manly-Warringah.
The 1983 NSWRFL season was the 76th season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Fourteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. During the season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1983 KB Cup.
The 1986 New South Wales Rugby League premiership was the seventy-ninth season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Thirteen clubs competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Parramatta Eels and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs which featured the introduction of the Clive Churchill Medal. This season, NSWRL teams also competed for the 1986 National Panasonic Cup.
John Muggleton is an Australian former rugby league footballer who represented the Parramatta Eels in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, New South Wales in State of Origin competition and the Australian national team (1982).
The 1981 State of Origin game was the second such match between arch rivals Queensland and New South Wales to be played under State of Origin selection rules. Again it was played as the third game of an already-decided 3-game series. New South Wales' victories in the first two games under the "state of residency" selection rules were, however, the last matches of this kind to ever be played as the following year the Origin concept was fully embraced.
The 1983 State of Origin series was the second time the annual three-game series between the New South Wales and Queensland rugby league teams was played entirely under "state of origin" selection rules.
The 1982 Kangaroo tour was the fifteenth Kangaroo tour where the Australian national rugby league team played a number of matches against British and French rugby league teams, in addition to the Test matches. The Australia national rugby league team have generally since 1908 barring wartime, toured Great Britain every four years often capping the tour with matches and Tests in France. This regular touring side are known as the Kangaroos.
Justin Horo is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who last played as a second-row, lock and hooker for Wakefield Trinity in the Super League. He previously played for the Parramatta Eels and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in the NRL. The Skip of the SPC
The Mighty Eels is an Australian social and sporting history DVD series about Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club, better known as the Eels. The series was financed by Parramatta Leagues Club and produced by Richard Bradley Productions. The producer on behalf of the production company was Richard Bradley, and Denis Fitzgerald who was CEO of Parramatta Leagues Club acted as associate producer on behalf of the Leagues Club.