Jamie Lyon

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Jamie Lyon
JamieLyonManly.jpg
Lyon playing for Manly in 2008
Personal information
Nickname Killer[1]
Born (1982-01-24) 24 January 1982 (age 32)
Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Height 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 93 kg (14 st 9 lb)
Playing information
Position Centre, Five-eighth
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000–04 Parramatta Eels 70 36 0 0 144
2005–06 St Helens 60 44 205 0 586
2007– Manly Warringah 190 78 435 0 1182
Total 320 158 640 0 1912
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003–09 Country Origin 2 1 3 0 10
2002–10 New South Wales 10 1 8 0 20
2001–10 Australia 8 4 6 0 20
As of 19 April 2014
Source: [1], NRL Stats, RLP, Herald Sun

Jamie Lyon (born 24 January 1982 in Narrabri, New South Wales) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who currently captains the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles of the National Rugby League (NRL). An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative goal-kicking centre, he played his first club football for the Parramatta Eels before joining Super League with English club St. Helens, with whom he won the 2006 Championship and Challenge Cup titles. Lyon then returned to the NRL with Manly Warringah, winning the 2008 and 2011 grand finals with them. Since switching from five-eighth back to his regular centre position in 2009, he has been hailed as one of the all-time great centres, winning the Dally M Centre of the year in 2010 and 2011, RLIF Centre of the Year in 2011 and Dally M Captain of the Year (along with co-captain Jason King) in 2012.

Lyon is also notable for his reluctance to participate in representative fixtures since 2011 so he can concentrate on playing for the Sea Eagles. In effect, Lyon has retired from representative football, to some small controversy as some have called for him to be stood down from Manly during Origin time, though there have been continued calls for him to play for both NSW and Australia.

Biography[edit]

Born in Narrabri in north-central New South Wales[2] and growing up in Wee Waa, New South Wales, he played junior rugby league for the Wee Waa Panthers.[2] Selected to play for the Australian Schoolboys team, while attending Parramatta Marist High School he was part of the 1999 squad who went undefeated in their tour of France, Ireland and England.[3] Parramatta Eels's club development officer at the time, Noel Cleal, saw potential in the young centre and managed to lure Lyon to sign with the Sydney club.[4]

Professional playing career[edit]

Parramatta (2000 to 2004)[edit]

Lyon made his NRL début coming off the bench in the Eels' round 21 clash against the newly merged Wests Tigers on 25 June 2000[5] becoming the 622nd first grader for Parramatta in the process.[6] He scored his first try just three rounds later and he finished his début season with a try in Parramatta's 32–24 defeat of the St George Illawarra Dragons. In 2001, Lyon found himself regularly in the run-on squad. By season's end Parramatta took out the J. J. Giltinan Shield as the minor premiers thanks in part to Lyon's 11 tries. After defeating the New Zealand Warriors and the Brisbane Broncos in the qualifying and preliminary finals respectively, Parramatta fell just short of becoming premiers losing to the Newcastle Knights in 2001 NRL Grand Final, in which Lyon played at centre, scoring two tries. At the end of the 2001 NRL season, Lyon became the 697th player to represent Australia[7] when he made his national representative début in the test match at Lloyd Robson Oval, Port Moresby against Papua New Guinea where scored two tries off the bench. Later that year, he became the youngest-ever Kangaroo tourist when he was selected for the 2001 Kangaroo Tour.[8] The start of the 2002 NRL season started off well for Lyon, and he made his New South Wales Blues début in Game I of the 2002 State of Origin series, scoring a try in 32–4 points victory. He played again in Game II of the series however an ankle injury that was sustained in the Eels round 14 match against the defending premiers, found Lyon out for the remainder of the season.[9] In June 2002, he extended his contract with the Parramatta club until the end of 2006 at around $250,000 per season.[10]

Lyon made his return in Round 1 of the 2003 NRL season. Starting off well again, he scored four tries in four games.[11] That year, he played in all three games for the Blues in their 2–1 2003 State of Origin series victory. A hamstring injury though saw Lyon again on sideline. However, he recovered and in round 24, he set the club record for the most tries in first grade match when he ran in 5 in Parramatta's 74–4 defeat of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, helping the Eels set their highest ever score and largest ever winning margin in process.[12][13] But this was not enough for the Eels as they just missed the finals for the first time since 1996, and for the first time in Brian Smith's time at the club. During his time at Parramatta, Lyon had received several club awards including the Jack Gibson Award in 2001 awarded by the first grade coach, the Ron Lynch Media Award in 2003, the Members People Choice Award in 2003 and, along with Matthew Petersen, was jointly awarded the Murray Wilson Try Scoring Award as the top try scorers for the club in the 2003 NRL season.[14] Lyon made headlines when on 15 March 2004, after four seasons, 70 games and at the age of just 22, announced that he was retiring from Parramatta and the NRL. He did so just two days after Parramatta's round one 48–14 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs[15] and without talking to his team mates.[16] He had around two years remaining on his contract. In reaction to the announcement, fellow country players Justin Hodges and David Peachey publicly supported his decision. With both players themselves taking breaks from the game, Hodges was quoted as saying that "footy does get a hold on you and it does get you down sometimes. People say it's the life but sometimes there's more bad than good. He's [Lyon] only 22 and he's from the country so it's pretty hard living in a big city like this. Even I struggled."[17] Terry Hill added to the controversy when at the press conference to announce his own retirement, he predicted more young players would take Lyon's lead and leave the top grade.[16]

Return to Country NSW[edit]

On 9 April 2004, Lyon's manager Alan Gainey announced that Lyon was seeking a clearance to return to his junior club – the Wee Waa Panthers.[18] On 14 April 2004, one month after he walked out, Lyon and Gainey meet with Parramatta officials for two hours to determine Lyon's future.[19] The following day, it was announced this that his pay would be suspended and that the initial Wee Waa offer was rejected.[20] However, six weeks later on 4 June 2004, the Eels conceded and granted the clearance under the condition that Lyon could not play for another club in the NRL.[21] Lyon agreed to the condition and signed a supplemental agreement to play with the Country Rugby League Group Four club up until the end of 2006.[22] He proved to be a worthy asset as the Panthers defeated the Moree Boars in the grand final.[23] After bids from the Penrith Panthers,[24] the Gold Coast Dolphins (as they originally were going to be named),[25] the Canberra Raiders[24] and the Sea-eagles,[26] Lyon on 17 August 2004, signed with English Super League club St. Helens on a two-year deal.[27] The club outlayed $150,000 to clear Lyon of his existing contract as well as $600,000 over the two seasons.[28]

St. Helens (2005 to 2006)[edit]

Lyon made his début for the Saints on 11 February 2005 against the Widnes Vikings at Knowsley Road. After a delayed start due to crowd congestion, Lyon set up two tries in the 40–18 win.[29] He scored his first try for the 116 year old club in the round 5 clash against the Salford City Reds[30] and in the following round against the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats kicked six goals from seven attempts.[31] Lyon's performance for the Saints received praise from both the media and the fans. He was twice voted as the Super League Player of the Month by the readers of the British rugby league publication Rugby Leaguer and League Express. For rounds 13 to 16 he received 42 percent of the vote and for round 17 to 20 he increased his share to 67.5 percent of the vote.[32] By the season's end, he had amassed 22 tries and 42 goals for a total 172 points; became only the fourth non-British player to be presented with the Man of Steel Award; was named the Rugby League Players Association Players' Player of the Year;[33] and was named as part of the media selected 2005 Super League Dream Team.[34]

Jamie Lyon kicking at goal for St. Helens in the 2006 Super League Grand Final victory over Hull at Old Trafford

In 2006, Lyon became the Saints' number one goal kicker with captain Paul Sculthorpe reduced to replacement kicker. He played for St Helens at centre, scoring a try and kicking 7 goals from 7 attempts, in their 2006 Challenge Cup Final victory against the Huddersfield Giants. In addition to the 88 points scored in the Challenge Cup, he almost doubled his 2005 premiership points tally with 328. As a result, he was once again selected as part of Super League Dream Team.[35] St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull FC and Lyon played at centre, kicking three goals in Saints' 26-4 victory.

Manly Warringah (2007 to present)[edit]

In March 2006, Lyon made contact with Parramatta with the intent of returning to his old club in 2007.[36] In early May, it seemed certain that Lyon was about to sign the Eels,[37] but in June the deal went sour and other offers came in from Penrith[38] and Newcastle.[39] In the end Manly won out when on 5 July 2006, 5 days after the anti-tampering deadline it was announced that Lyon had signed a four-year deal with the Brookvale based club.[40][41][42] The determining factor was Noel Cleal, the club's recruitment officer.[39] On 2 October 2006, the squad for the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament was announced with Lyon being a surprise inclusion.[43][44] In reaction to his selection, Parramatta legend Peter Sterling had at the time criticised Lyon, saying that he should not even be allowed in the NRL claiming that Lyon took $125,000 for playing only a handful of games in 2004 and considering Lyon as "lacking class".[45] Lyon retorted that he did "not look up to Sterlo" and that the comments "would not worry" him.[46] Lyon played in only one match during the series, Australia's first match against Great Britain[47] where Australia went down 23–12. Australia ended up winning the series defeating New Zealand in the final. After a great pre-season,[48] he made his début for Manly on 17 March 2007 against the Canberra Raiders where he scored two tries and kicked three goals.[49] Initially playing in the centres, the return of Steve Matai saw Lyon move into the Stand-off/five-eighth role. Round 9 saw Manly at home to Parramatta and the first time Lyon played against old club, however Parramatta played down the significance.[50] Lyon got lucky as he scored early in second half to help steer Manly to victory.[51] Since Lyon's return to the NRL has played in the 2007 ANZAC Test against New Zealand and Games I and II of the 2007 State of Origin series. He played in the Sea Eagles' 2007 NRL grand final defeat against the Melbourne Storm.[52]

Lyon played in the 2008 NRL Grand Final victory over the Melbourne Storm, kicking two goals.[53] Lyon switched between centre and five-eight in the 2009 season, in the later games played in the centres to make way for young Kieran Foran. After representative exile, he was selected for Country in the City vs Country match on 8 May 2009.[54] He was then named in the 17 man squad to represent New South Wales in the opening match of the 2009 State of Origin series, in Melbourne.[55] With the departure of captain Matt Orford to the Bradford Bulls in the European Super League at the conclusion of the 2009 season, Lyon was named co-captain alongside Manly stalwart Jason King.

In the 2010 season, he was appointed co-captain of Manly.[56] Since being appointed co-captaincy and making a permanent move to right centre position, Lyon has been in arguably career-best form, reflected by being named Dally M Centre of the Year in both 2010 and 2011. Lyon has also been an almost automatic selection for both NSW and Australia, however he has sought exemption from representative duties on most occasions, citing family reasons.

Lyon started the 2010 Season playing at Five-Eighth and combining in the halves with Kieran Foran (at Halfback) for the Round 1 clash against the West Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium. However following Manly's loss to the Tigers in Round 1, for the round 2 away-game against the Parramatta Eels, when Kieran Foran shifted back to Five-Eighth (from Halfback, to allow Trent Hodkinson to make his NRL debut); Lyon shifted back to the Centres (from Five-Eighth).

Lyon also played in the 2010 ANZAC test vs New Zealand, scoring two goals and for Game 1 of the 2010 State of Origin series. Lyon captained the Manly Sea Eagles from his position at centre in the 2011 NRL grand final, scoring a try in the win over the New Zealand Warriors. On 3 November 2011 The annual RLIF Awards dinner was held at the Tower of London and Lyon was named centre three-quarter back of the year.[57]

Lyon captained the Sea Eagles, kicking two goals in their 2012 World Club Challenge loss to the Leeds Rhinos in Leeds before the start of the 2012 NRL season.

In 2013, Lyon played and captained in every game for Manly (each week) of the regular season and including the finals appearances. Days before the NRL Grand Final, Lyon was named 'Dally M Centre of the year' at the NRL Dally M Awards event. He captained Manly in the Grand Final match against the Sydney Roosters. However the Sydney Roosters end-up winning the game 26-18 and the premiership.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chesterton, Ray (30 July 2007). "Killer punch in game of the year". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Player profile of Jamie Lyon". Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "Australian Schoolboys match summary (1972–2005)". LeagueNet. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Prichard, Greg (22 August 2004). "St Helens confident Lyon won't bail out". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "Player profile of Jamie Lyon". NRL Stats. Retrieved 26 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "Parramatta Eels reunion". Parramatta Sun. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ "All time Australian Kangaroos player list". Australian Rugby League. Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Lawrenson, David (8 October 2006). "Lyon skips from pulling pints to being a Kangaroo". The Observer (London). Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  9. ^ "Eels lose Lyon for rest of season". ABC News. 20 June 2002. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  10. ^ Mascord, Steve (28 June 2002). "Steve Mascord's late mail". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  11. ^ Jeffs, Paul. "Jamie Lyon's NRL first grade points listing". stats.rleague.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  12. ^ "Eels set club record against 11-man Sharks". ABC News. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2007. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Parramatta Eels Club Records". Parramatta Eels. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  14. ^ "Parramatta Eels Honour Roll". Parramatta Eels. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  15. ^ Mascord, Steve; Walter, Brad (16 March 2004). "League's not for me: Lyon tells the Eels". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  16. ^ a b Mascord, Steve (17 March 2004). "Hill predicts more walkouts by young players". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  17. ^ "Have a break, young Lyon urged, then come back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 March 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  18. ^ "Lyon to seek clearance from Eels to play for the Wee Waa Panthers". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  19. ^ Mascord, Steve; Walter, Brad (10 April 2004). "Blood clot forces Johns to hospital as Lyon and Eels decide to talk". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  20. ^ Walter, Brad (15 April 2004). "No play, no pay: Parramatta get tough with Lyon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  21. ^ Prichard, Greg (30 May 2004). "Eels tell rivals not to approach Jamie". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  22. ^ "Ex-Parra Lyons to join Wee Waa Panthers". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 June 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  23. ^ Hanson, Lestor (15 September 2004). "We're the premiers in 2004". Wee Waa News. pp. 1, 15–16. 
  24. ^ a b Mascord, Steve (5 August 2004). "Lyon in limbo as Raiders debate move". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  25. ^ Walter, Brad; Mascord, Steve (7 August 2004). "Dolphins join hunt for restless Lyon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  26. ^ Kilgallon, Steve (16 January 2005). "From sinner to Saint: Lyon eager for fresh start in UK". The Sun-Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  27. ^ "Saints snap up Lyon". BBC News. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  28. ^ "St Helens pull off Lyon deal". ONE News. 18 August 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  29. ^ "St Helens 40–18 Widnes". BBC News. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  30. ^ "St Helens 46–12 Salford". BBC News. 11 March 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  31. ^ "St Helens 64–16 Wakefield". BBC News. 19 March 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  32. ^ Shirvani, Alex (25 July 2005). "Lyon wins readers poll – again!". Rugby Leaguer and League Express. p. 4. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  33. ^ "Lyon picks up Man of Steel award". BBC News. 10 October 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  34. ^ "Saints quintet in 2005 Dream Team". BBC News. 20 September 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  35. ^ "Saints top Dream Team nominations". BBC News. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  36. ^ Prichard, Greg (13 April 2006). "Runaway Lyon says he's keen to rejoin Parramatta". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  37. ^ Prichard, Greg (4 May 2006). "Lyon close to signing Eels deal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  38. ^ Lawson, Amy (18 June 2006). "Lyon poised to roam free as a Panther at foot of mountains". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  39. ^ a b Prichard, Greg (29 June 2006). "Lyon likely to squirm away from Eels and become an Eagle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
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  41. ^ "Lyon signs with Sea Eagles". 5 July 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
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  43. ^ "Lyon in Tri-Nations squad". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  44. ^ Walter, Brad (3 October 2006). "Shock recall brings Lyon in from cold". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  45. ^ Swanton, Will (8 October 2006). "I wouldn't have him in NRL, let alone Test side". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  46. ^ "Lyon brushes off Sterling's blast". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  47. ^ Walter, Brad (4 November 2006). "Making up is hard for Lyon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  48. ^ "Punishing pre-season has me in career-best shape, says Lyon". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  49. ^ Toohey, Barry (18 March 2007). "Lyon stars in Eagles début". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  50. ^ "Eels well over Lyon's 2004 NRL walkout". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  51. ^ Mascord, Steve (12 May 2007). "Lyon returns to haunt Eels". The Australian. Retrieved 23 August 2007. 
  52. ^ "Factfile on 2007 grand final". The Daily Telegraph. 29 September 2008. 
  53. ^ "Grand final: As it happened". Fox Sports. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008. 
  54. ^ Balym, Todd (3 May 2009). "Blues halfback duel in two as Mitchell Pearce misses selection". Fox Sports. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  55. ^ Fitzgibbon, Liam (25 May 2009). "NSW selectors go with form and not reputation for Origin opener". Fox Sports News (Australia). Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  56. ^ "Jamie Lyon and Jason King to captain Manly Sea Eagles". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 18 February 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  57. ^ "Slater scoops player award". Sky Sports. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011.