|Full name||Stephen Renouf|
|Nickname||The Pearl, The Prince of Centres, Bucko|
8 June 1970 |
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Source: RLP, SL Stats and Yesterday's Hero|
Stephen Renouf (born 8 June 1970 in Murgon, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s. Of Aboriginal and European descent, he was known as one of the sport's greatest centres. Renouf set numerous records for the Brisbane Broncos club and is considered one of the greatest footballers to have played for them. After spending eleven years with Brisbane, which yielded four premierships, he left Australia to play for English club Wigan Warriors, where he spent two seasons before retiring. He has since been named in Australia's Indigenous team of the century (1908–2007).
Having developed his game with the Broncos since his teen years, Renouf made his debut in the first grade side in 1989. He scored his first try for the club in 1990, and the following year went on to set a new club record of four tries in a home fixture and be the Broncos' top try scorer of the 1991 Brisbane Broncos season and 1992 (along with Allan Langer) seasons. In 1992 the Broncos claimed their first premiership, winning Winfield Cup grand final against St. George. In the weeks following the grand final Renouf travelled with the Kangaroos to England for the 1992 World Cup final. At Wembley Stadium, the match set a record attendance for a rugby league international, with 73,631 seeing Renouf make his test debut. He scored the only try of the match, with Australia beating Great Britain 10–6. Also while in England Renouf played at centre for the Broncos in the 1992 World Club Challenge against British champions Wigan, helping Brisbane become the first NSWRL club to win the match in Britain.
On 23 April 1994 Renouf broke the club record for scoring the most tries in an away fixture by scoring four tries in the game against the Balmain Tigers at the Optus Oval. During the 1994 NSWRL season, Renouf played at centre for defending premiers Brisbane when they hosted British champions Wigan for the 1994 World Club Challenge. Also in 1994, Renouf scored the most tries in a season in the Broncos' history, leading the year's NSWRL premiership's try-scorers list, with 23 tries. At the end of the 1994 NSWRL season, he was selected to go on the 1994 Kangaroo tour.
Dubbed a 'try-scoring machine', in total Renouf scored four tries on five occasions:
- vs North Sydney Bears, 9 August 1991
- vs Canterbury Bulldogs, 25 July 1993
- vs Balmain Tigers, 23 April 1994
- vs Auckland Warriors, 27 August 1995
- vs Penrith Panthers, 28 March 1997
In 1997, Renouf scored 14 tries, which included a hat-trick against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the 1997 Super League grand final on 20 September at ANZ Stadium in Brisbane's 26–8 victory. He was therefore named man-of-the-match.
He played centre at for the Brisbane Broncos in their win at the 1998 NRL grand final. Over a decade after leaving the Broncos he was still the club's all-time leading try scorer, having amassed a total of 142 tries.
In 2000, Renouf was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league. Renouf played for the Wigan Warriors at centre their 2000 Super League Grand Final loss against St Helens RLFC. His final game for the Wigan Warriors and indeed his last game at the highest level was the 2001 Super League Grand Final on 13 October at Old Trafford in Manchester. His side lost to the Bradford Bulls by 37–6.
Upon his time at Wigan Warriors, Renouf quoted "The two years at Wigan were absolutely brilliant. I would have liked to stay but they didn’t want to retain me"
Back in Australia
During the 2007 season at the Broncos' 20-year anniversary celebration, the club announced a list of the 20 best players to play for them to date which included Renouf.
In August, 2008, Renouf was named at centre in the Indigenous Team of the Century.
Life off the field
At the age of 23, six years after signing with the Brisbane Broncos, Renouf was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Renouf remembers that he "had been losing weight quite rapidly, [and] was always going to the toilet and though it was the start of pre-season, [he] had no energy, [he] couldn’t lift anything in the gym". He decided to go to the doctor and found out that he had the disease. According to Renouf "diabetes is not all doom and gloom, you can live with it." His advice to young people who have diabetes is "Never think that it can stop you from achieving your goals. Just look after it, and you can achieve anything. I looked after it...I knew I had to if I wanted to keep playing football."
Outside of rugby league, Renouf has an apprenticeship as an electrician and has also worked in the industry of sales and marketing. He is married and has five children - four sons and one daughter. He is currently working for the Get Active Queensland Schools Program which promotes physical activity amongst children.
In February 2006, a biography of Renouf was released. Entitled The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story, the book details his career as a rugby league player, but it also covers his early life, including his family heritage and his childhood in the Queensland town of Murgon. It also discusses how, as an Aborigine, he had to overcome prejudices from people around him.
"Getting (Renouf) to training was a defining moment, then getting him to finish was another. We named the hill after him because he spent so much time sitting on it." Wayne Bennett, Brisbane Broncos coach
- Roberts, Michael (2008). Great Australian Sporting Moments. Australia: The Miegunyah Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-522-85547-0. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- DAVE HADFIELD (29 September 1992). "Australia rely on family virtues". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
- "Grand final simply super". Illawarra Mercury (Fairfax Digital). 21 September 1997. p. 26. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Wigan Warriors – Steve Renouf" profile, URL retrieved 11 July 2006.
- Dekroo, Karl (9 May 2007). "Still the king". The Courier-Mail (Australia: Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 8 December 2009.[dead link]
- "Modern stars join greats in Indigenous Team of Century". ABC News. 9 August 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
- "Steve Renouf redefines victory" article, URL retrieved 31 March 2008.
- "Role Models – Steve Renouf" article, URL retrieved 11 July 2006.
- "Stakeholder Engagement". Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-7022-3536-9, 9780702235368 Check
- "The Pearl: the story of Steve Renouf" article, URL retrieved 11 July 2006.
- Steve Renouf at the
- Steve Renouf at wiganwarriors.com
- Steve Renouf Wigan Career Page on the Wigan RL Fansite.