Weary Dunlop inducted into hall of fame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Weary Dunlop inducted into hall of fame

12/06/2008 11:41:12 AM Comments (0)

Wartime hero Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop became the first Victorian inducted into the Wallabies Hall of Fame on Thursday.

The Australian Rugby Union made the announcement in the late Sir Edward's home city of Melbourne ahead of Saturday's Wallabies-Ireland Test at Telstra Dome.

The World War II surgeon and prisoner of war, named Australian of the Year in 1976, played twice for Australia against New Zealand in 1932 and 1934.

He was the first Victorian to play for the Wallabies and helped Australia to a pivotal 25-11 win over the All Blacks in his second Test, playing strongly in the second-row.

Sir Edward missed the second and final Test of the series a fortnight later due to illness but the Wallabies held on for a 3-all draw for an historic first Bledisloe Cup win.

Following his first Test selection in 1932 at the SCG, Wangaratta-born Dunlop said it was the thrill of tackling and running the ball that saw him prefer rugby to Australian rules.

"The whole team gets into action at one time, and moves like one man in great dashes down the field, striving to defeat the opposing side and put the ball over the line," he said.

"(And) tackling is more thrilling than anything in the Australian game."

Sir Edward, whose state funeral in 1993 saw 10,000 people turn out to pay their respects, becomes the 12th former Wallaby to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 2005.

He joins greats Ken Catchpole, Mark Ella, David Campese, Sir Nicholas Shehadie, Mark Loane, John Thornett, Col Windon, Cyril Towers, John Hipwell, Tom Lawton Snr and Tom Richards.

ARU president and former Wallabies skipper Paul McLean rated Sir Edward an iconic figure for rugby in Victoria where a lavish annual luncheon is held in his name.

"The bravery and selfless commitment he displayed in caring for those under his command while a prisoner of war more than 60 years ago is legendary," McLean said.

"His contribution to the medical profession as a pioneer in cancer surgery also earned him a special place in this country's history.

"He was a remarkable, much-loved Australian and, from a rugby perspective, he made a ground-breaking rise to the Test team.

"Those on-field talents he possessed, together with the values he brought to the game and displayed throughout his life, have led to this Hall of Fame recognition."

The ARU will announce two more Hall of Fame inductees this year - one each before Bledisloe Cup Tests in Sydney next month and Brisbane in September.

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