Tommy Raudonikis

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Tommy Raudonikis
Tommy Raudonikis.jpg
Raudonikis in 2008
Personal information
Full nameTom Raudonikis
NicknameTom Terrific[1]
Born13 April 1950
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height170 cm (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Weight11 st 7 lb (73 kg)[2]
PositionHalfback
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1969–79Western Suburbs202290087
1980–82Newtown Jets3740012
1983Brothers (Brisbane)
Total239330099
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1971–80New South Wales24110033
1971–80Australia202006
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1983Brothers (Brisbane)
Norths (Brisbane)
Ipswich Jets
1995–99Western Suburbs Magpies
Total0000
Representative
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1997–98New South Wales630350
Source: RL stats RLP
 
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Tommy Raudonikis
Tommy Raudonikis.jpg
Raudonikis in 2008
Personal information
Full nameTom Raudonikis
NicknameTom Terrific[1]
Born13 April 1950
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height170 cm (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Weight11 st 7 lb (73 kg)[2]
PositionHalfback
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1969–79Western Suburbs202290087
1980–82Newtown Jets3740012
1983Brothers (Brisbane)
Total239330099
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1971–80New South Wales24110033
1971–80Australia202006
Coaching information
Club
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1983Brothers (Brisbane)
Norths (Brisbane)
Ipswich Jets
1995–99Western Suburbs Magpies
Total0000
Representative
YearsTeamGmsWDLW%
1997–98New South Wales630350
Source: RL stats RLP

Tommy Raudonikis OAM (born 13 April 1950[3] in Cowra, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. He played over twenty-nine Tests and World Cup games as Australia representative halfback and captained his country in two Tests of the 1973 Kangarooo tour.

Early life and club playing career[edit]

Raudonikis is the son of a Lithuanian father and a Swiss mother who emigrated to Australia after WWII. He played 202 games for the Western Suburbs Magpies between 1969 and 1979 before moving to the Newtown Jets for 37 games in three seasons between 1980 and 1982. Raudonikis played under two famous coaches, Roy Masters at Wests and Warren Ryan at Newtown. Some rate him the toughest player to have ever played in the halves and in September 2004 he was named in the Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century.

Representative playing career[edit]

He was first selected in an Australian squad in 1971 behind Souths halfback Bob Grant and made his run on debut in 1972 against the Kiwis (the same year he won the Rothmans Medal for best club player for the season). He was the regular Test halfback for the next six years. He made Test appearances up until 1980 by which time he was being challenged by Greg Oliphant and Steve Mortimer. He was the captain of the New South Wales State of Origin team in the inaugural 1980 contest.

Awards[edit]

Coaching career[edit]

Raudonikis' final playing year was in a captain coach role at Brisbane Brothers in 1983. He later coached Brisbane Norths and the Ipswich Jets in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership. Returning to Sydney, he was coach of the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1995 up until the formation of the Wests Tigers joint venture with the Balmain Tigers at the end of 1999. He had some initial coaching success making the finals in 1996, but Wests were ultimately unable to build on this and only won six games in their final two seasons.

Raudonikis coached the Blues in the 1997 and 1998 series. In those series he entered State of Origin folklore when he introduced the Cattledog call to which NSW players responded by breaking from the scrum with fists flying, resulting in two infamous all-in-brawls.

In the media[edit]

He is a long term friend of 2GB radio station owner John Singleton. Through this friendship, he also participates as a commentator for the Continuous Call Team with Ray Hadley on 2GB.

His hospitalisation in August 2006, for a heart bypass operation, made Australian sports news and drew messages of support from a spectrum of famous former players including Wests icons Arthur Summons (the subject of the NRL trophy with Norm Provan.)[4]

Raudonikis made an appearance in the 2007 rugby league drama film, The Final Winter.[5]

Currently Raudonikis works as a part of the Channel 9 rugby league commentary team.

In February 2008, Raudonikis 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.[6][7] Also in 2008 the Western Suburbs Magpies celebrated their centenary by inducting six inaugural members into the club's Hall of Fame. These six included Raudonikis.[8]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 453. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1. 
  2. ^ a b "World Series". Rugby League Week (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Rugby League Week Pty Ltd) (1975–1976): pg 85. 
  3. ^ Rugby League Project
  4. ^ Roy Masters (2 August 2006). "Tom terrific after heart cops beating". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  5. ^ Douglas Kennedy and Elissa Blake (19 August 2007). "League legends in The Final Winter". The Sunday Mail (Australia: Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  8. ^ westsmagpies.net (2008). "Western Suburbs Magpies Hall of Fame". Wests Archives. Western Suburbs Magpies R.L.F.C. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

Preceded by
Wayne Ellis (caretaker)
1994
Coach
Western Suburbs Magpies

1995–1999
Succeeded by
Club merged
Preceded by
Phil Gould
1992–1996
Coach
New South Wales

1997–1998
Succeeded by
Wayne Pearce
1999–2001