Barry Muir

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Barry Muir
Personal information
Full name Barry A Muir
Born (1937-09-18) 18 September 1937 (age 80)
Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)[1]
Weight 10 st 11 lb (68 kg; 151 lb)[1]
Position Halfback

Years Team Pld T G FG P
1956 Tweed Heads Seagulls
1957 Valleys (Toowoomba)
1958–68 Wests (Brisbane)
1970 Ayr
1971 Tweed Heads Seagulls
Total 0 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1959–66 Queensland 26 13
1959–64 Australia 25 6
Coaching information

Years Team Gms W D L W%
1966–68 Wests (Brisbane)
1970 Ayr
1971 Tweed Heads
1972–74 Redcliffe
Total 0 0 0 0
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1974–78 Queensland

Barry Muir (born 18 September 1937) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and coach. An Australian and Queensland representative halfback, he played in twenty-two Tests between 1959 and 1964, as captain on two occasions.

Club career[edit]

Born in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Muir played his junior rugby league at Coolangatta State School and represented Queensland Schoolboys in 1951. He was graded with the Tweeds Heads Seagulls and made his first grade debut in 1956. He played a season in 1957 with Valleys in Toowoomba before joining Western Suburbs in 1958 in the Brisbane domestic competition. He stayed with the club for eleven seasons.

He was captain-coach of West Brisbane from 1966 to 1968, played 1970 as captain-coach with Ayr in North Queensland and finished his playing career as captain-coach in 1971 back at Tweed Heads where his career had begun fifteen seasons earlier.

Representative career[edit]

He debuted for Queensland against a visiting New Zealand team in 1959 and was selected in the Australia national rugby league team for the same series. He also played in the Queensland victory over New South Wales that attracted 35,261 spectators, smashing Brisbane's previous record for an interstate match of 22,817.[2] Muir then made his Test debut on 13 June 1959 at the Sydney Cricket Ground along with Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper and Noel Kelly and played in all three Tests against the Kiwis. Later that year was selected for the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour where he appeared in all six Tests and fourteen minor Tour matches.

He was vice-captain of the Australian squad for the 1960 World Cup and played in all three Australian appearances. He first captained Australia in the opening match of that World Cup against France when Keith Barnes was out injured.

After captaining Queensland in 1961 in the interstate series he was selected in a 1961 tour of New Zealand and captained Australia in the Second Test of that series in Auckland to a 20-8 victory. For the next two years he formed a regular test halves partnership with Five-eighth Arthur Summons in a domestic Ashes series against Great Britain and Tests against visiting New Zealand and South African sides.

In 1963 he made his second Kangaroo tour and replicated his feat of four years prior in appearing in all six Tests and fourteen minor Tour matches. He was abruptly sent-off by referee Eric Clay in the Third Test at Headingley, Leeds for a reckless kick directed towards his opposite number Tommy Smales when the ball came out of a scrum on the Great Britain side.

Team Matches Years
Queensland 24 1959–1966
Australia (Tests) 22 1959–1964
Australia (World Cup) 3 1960


Muir was a long time outspoken critic of the system that allowed the best Queensland club players to move to the Sydney competition and then to represent New South Wales. This widely held sentiment eventually led to the birth of the Rugby League State of Origin concept.

Muir coached the Queensland side from 1974 to 1978 (two years prior to the adoption of Origin selection criteria) and during this time Muir coined the term "cockroaches", the derogatory descriptor of the New South Wales rugby league team still used by the Queenslanders.[3]

In February 2008, Muir was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b "1960 World Cup Match". ebay. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Goodman, Tom (28 May 1959). "Queensland beats N.S.W. in league by 17-15". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's greatest contest 1980-2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. xv. ISBN 978-0-7022-3383-8. 
  4. ^ Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 


  • Whiticker, Alan (2004) Captaining the Kangaroos, New Holland, Sydney
  • Andrews, Malcolm (2006) The ABC of Rugby League Austn Broadcasting Corpn, Sydney
Preceded by
Keith Barnes
Australian national rugby league captain
Succeeded by
Reg Gasnier