Mark Carroll (rugby league)

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Mark Carroll
Personal information
Nickname Spud
Born (1967-02-26) 26 February 1967 (age 47)
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 114 kg (17 st 13 lb)
Position Prop, Second-row
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1987–89 Penrith Panthers 13 0 0 0 0
1990–93 South Sydney 68 6 0 1 25
1994–97 Manly-Warringah 88 5 0 0 20
1998 London Broncos 18 1 0 0 4
1999 South Sydney 15 0 0 0 0
Total 202 12 0 1 49
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1995–1999 New South Wales 7 0 0 0 0
1990–1997 Australia 12 0 0 0 0
Source: Rugby League Project and Yesterday's Hero

Mark Carroll (born 26 February 1967 in Penrith, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 90s. A prop-forward, he represented Australia internationally and New South Wales in State of Origin and played club football for the Penrith Panthers, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and London Broncos. After his retirement at the end of the 1999 season, Carroll went on to become a bodyguard for Russell Crowe.

Carroll started out as a junior for Penrith, and was a member of the club's 1987 reserve grade premiers. He found immediate success with Souths in 1990, earning him a surprise selection as a reserve for the one-off Test against France at Parkes, New South Wales (having not yet played at State of Origin level). At the end of the 1990 NSWRL season, he went on the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France but made only six appearances due to a knee injury.

He moved to Manly in 1994, where his skill as a tough, attacking forward continued to improve, but despite being a shadow player for New South Wales and the Australian Test team, he failed to make a second Kangaroo Tour at the end of the year.

Carroll’s representative career gained a boost with the Super League split in 1995 when he won a belated NSW jersey. Despite being suspended for a tackle on David Furner and missing the State of Origin match in Melbourne, he was selected for Australia to play against New Zealand. A member of Australia’s victorious World Cup team in 1995, his appearances against New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Rest of the World teams over the next two years boosted his Test total to 12 matches.

While Carroll obviously enjoyed playing in a stronger pack at Manly, three consecutive grand final appearances (1995–97) garnered just the one premiership success, in 1996.

At the end of 1997, he left Manly to play for the London Broncos but the move was not a success and he cited homesickness as the reason for his return. Carroll re-joined Souths in 1999 and was an important part of the club’s early season resurgence. Recalled to rep football in the Second State of Origin match that year, he was knocked out in the series decider after a controversial tackle by Darren Smith.

Forced to retire at season’s end because of chronic knee injury, Carroll became a committed supporter of Souths’ reinstatement into the NRL. In 2000, Carroll was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league. He has since gained some notoriety as the international bodyguard of actor Russell Crowe.[citation needed]

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