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|Full name||Benjamin Ikin|
21 February 1977 |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (14 st 2 lb)|
Benjamin Ikin (born 21 February 1977) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer and currently working as a presenter for Foxsports. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative centre turned five-eighth, he played his club football for the Gold Coast Chargers, North Sydney Bears and Brisbane Broncos, with whom he won the 2000 premiership, before being forced into early retirement by injury. He was previously a commentator for the Nine Network.
As a Gold Coast junior and promising centre and five-eighth, Ben Ikin became the youngest player in State of Origin history when he was chosen as a replacement back for the Maroons during the troubled 1995 season at age 18.
According to his 1995 Queensland Origin coach Paul Vautin, he did not actually know who Ikin was before the series. When Ikin first approached Vautin at the beginning of the Origin camp before the series, he actually thought the teenager was a fan seeking an autograph.
Ikin's debut season ended prematurely when he was injured and he signed with the North Sydney Bears in 1996. At the end of 1998, Ikin went someway toward fulfilling that potential when he was chosen as a reserve in the final two Tests against New Zealand in September, making him currently the last international to be selected from the North Sydney club. He then tried to gain a release from his contract to play with premiers the Brisbane Broncos in 1999, but his request was refused. Reluctantly playing with the Bears, he suffered a broken jaw in an off-field incident that kept him sidelined for eight weeks.
Ikin finally got the chance to link with Brisbane when the Bears were forced into a Joint Venture with Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 2000. He finished his first season with the Broncos playing five-eighth in the club's 2000 NRL grand final win over the Sydney Roosters. It was later revealed that he played the latter part of the season with a shoulder injury that required surgery during the 2000 off-season. In 2000 Ikin was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league. Ikin also considered playing for Wales in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup due to his Welsh heritage through his grandfather
A mainstay of the Queensland State of Origin team, a further knee injury limited Ikin to just 6 matches in 2001 and ruined any chance of extending his Test record. Ikin made a successful comeback from his injury, even returning to State of Origin duty, but he had lost a lot of his speed and decided to stand down from the Broncos' elite squad at the end of 2003. Playing for Broncos' feeder club Toowoomba, Ikin was recalled into the Brisbane team during the 2004 representative season and played in 11 games in the latter half of the year.
Ben Ikin was a rugby league commentator for the Nine Network and regularly appeared on The Sunday Footy Show. On 3 June 2009, Ikin resigned from the Nine Network, due to A Current Affair running a story about his father's ill-fated storage business on the Gold Coast.
Ikin is now host of NRL 360 on Fox Sports alongside journalist Paul Kent.
Ikin is married to Beth (Elizabeth) Bennett, the daughter of Wayne Bennett.
Sean Ikin, Ben's middle brother, was a successful recording artist with Universal Records from 1999 to 2002. Sean recorded an independent album in London UK in 2005 called 'Gallery of Murmurs'.
- Colman, Mike (1996). Super League: The Inside Story. Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd. pp. 211–216 Tomorrow The World. ISBN 0 330 35863 4.
- http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/rugby-league/wales-lose-out-after-johns-opts-for-break-700433.html[dead link]
- Phil Rothfield & Marcus Casey. "Ben Ikin walks from Channel Nine". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 14 November 2011.