Gary Connolly

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Gary J. Connolly
Personal information
Full name Gary J. Connolly
Date of birth (1971-06-22) 22 June 1971 (age 43)
Place of birth St Helens, Lancashire, England
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 89 kg (14 st 0 lb)
Club information
Position(s) Fullback, Centre
Current club Retired
Youth clubs
Years Club
Blackbrook ARL
Senior clubs*
Years Club Apps (points)
1988–93
1992–2004
1993
1996
2001–02
2003–04
2005
2005–06
St Helens
Wigan
Canterbury Bulldogs
Harlequins RU
Orrell RU
Leeds Rhinos
Widnes Vikings
Munster
133 (184)
309 (546)
15 (20)


30 (28)
20 (18)
Representative teams
1991–2003
1992–1996
1998[1]

1997
Great Britain
England
Ireland
Lancashire
Rest of the World
31 (16)
4 (12)
1 (0)
2 (0)
1(0)
* Professional club appearances and points
counted for domestic first grade only.

Gary J. Connolly (born 22 June 1971 in St Helens, England) was a rugby league full back who later played at centre for St Helens, Canterbury Bulldogs, Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and for the Great Britain national side. In the twilight of his career, he played rugby union for Irish side Munster.

Playing career[edit]

St Helens[edit]

At 17 years of age Connolly appeared in St. Helens' ill-fated defeat to their arch rivals at Wembley in 1989 on the back of some impressive performances. He was selected to go on the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand. His move to rivals, Wigan, in 1993 was a controversial one and many St. Helens followers labelled him 'Judas'.[2] Wigan paid £250,000[3] for Gary Connolly when he moved from St Helens in 1993 (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £451,000 in 2009).[4]

Wigan[edit]

Connolly was a member of the successful Wigan team of the mid-1990s. After the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season he travelled with defending champions Wigan to Brisbane, playing at fullback in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. Connolly was selected to play for the English national team in their 1995 World Cup campaign. Connolly was selected to play for England in the 1995 World Cup final at cebtre but Australia won the match and retained the Cup. He was named in the Super League Dream Team of the 1996 at fullback. Connolly played for Wigan at centre in their 1998 Super League Grand Final victory against Leeds Rhinos. HE was named in the 1999 season's Super League Dream Team at centre. Connolly played for the Wigan Warriors at centre in their 2001 Super League Grand Final loss against the Bradford Bulls.

Leeds[edit]

Connolly moved to Leeds in 2003 and the same year was awarded the Lance Todd Trophy as Man of the Match in the 2003 Challenge Cup final against Bradford Bulls.[5] He was also named in the 2003 Super League Dream Team at fullback.

Connolly was regarded as one of the premier British centres of his generation and appeared 31 times for the national side excelling in the defensive side of the game, although his try scoring record was very modest at this level.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Phil Wilkinson. "Legend Q&A". Rugby League Week (Sydney, NSW: PBLMedia) (21 March 2007): pgs 22–23. 
  2. ^ http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/s/24/24971_rl_garys_final_bow.html
  3. ^ "Offiah hails arrival of Fielden". bbc.co.uk. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Measuring Worth - Relative Value of UK Pounds". Measuring Worth. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1. 

External links[edit]