Denis Donoghue (rugby league)

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Denis Reginald Donoghue (1926-1993) was an Australian rugby league footballer who played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, New South Wales and Australia during the years of 1948–1957.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

A Rabbitohs legend and favourite son, Denis Donoghue played ten seasons for South Sydney between 1948–1957, playing 171 games for the club and became a multi premiership winner with them. [1]

Denis Donoghue was a tough forward, and a crowd favourite at Redfern. Judges like Tom Goodman were quoted in the press at the time stating "he was also one of the best front rowers in the code". A rock-solid defender and strong runner of the ball, his specialty was scrummaging. He was the backbone of the South Sydney Rabbitohs pack, playing in seven grand finals and winning six of them. He retired to the Wollongong competition in 1958, playing as captain-coach for the Collegians, before returning to the South Sydney Rabbitohs as first grade coach for the next five seasons. [2]

Representative career[edit]

Denis represented New South Wales on ten occasions between 1950-1954. Donoghue was selected to represent Sydney against France during their 1951 tour of Australasia in a match that ended in a 19-all draw. He debuted for Australia in 1951 against the touring French side, and was selected for the Kangaroo Tour in 1952. He broke his leg on the first trial and missed all six Test matches. He stood down from Test representative duties following it. [3] He is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 283.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

One year after retiring as a player, Denis Donoghue became coach of South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1959 and stayed in that position until the end of the 1963 season.

He later became president of the South Sydney club in 1966 and stayed in the position until the early 1970s. [5]

Denis Reginald Donoghue died on 5 December 1993 at Randwick, New South Wales, age 67. He was cremated at Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park on 8 December 1993. [6]


  1. ^ Alan Whiticker- The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players, 2005
  2. ^
  3. ^ Http://
  4. ^ ARL Annual 2005, (page 63)
  5. ^ Sun Herald: "All in the game" by Tom Goodman. (Article: South Sydney AGM -Denis Donoghue, New President.- 11/12/1966 (page 78)
  6. ^ Sydney Morning Herald: Death Notice: 07/12/1993