14 March 1961 |
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||178 cm (5 ft 10 in)|
|1984–89||New South Wales||17||1||0||0||4|
|Source: NRL Stats, RLP|
Garry Jack (born 14 March 1961 in Wollongong, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. He was a representative in the Australian national team and star player with the Balmain Tigers. Jack was a Fullback for the Tigers during the late 1980s and early 1990s, under the captaincy of Wayne Pearce and the coaching of Warren Ryan. Jack also represented the New South Wales State of Origin side on 17 occasions.
His junior football was played in Wollongong with Wests Illawarra and in 1980 he was graded with them. He trialled with the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1981 and debuted in first grade in the latter part of that season aged 20.
His association with English rugby league began at the end of the 1986 Kangaroo tour when he stayed on to play for Salford before returning to the Tigers. He was member of the consecutive Balmain sides which fell at the final hurdle to firstly Canterbury-Bankstown in the 1988 Grand Final and then to Canberra in 1989.
1991 saw the departure of Warren Ryan as Balmain coach and the arrival of former Wallaby coach, Alan Jones. The years playing under Jones at Balmain were unhappy ones for Jack and eventually after he had left the club in 1992 and launched an attack on Jones’ ability as a coach following his ‘surprise’ reappointment for a third year.
His final Balmain game at Leichhardt Oval in 1992 saw 17,365 mostly Tigers fans come out to pay homage to him and other retirees Steve Roach and David Brooks. When his Australian club career ended having surpassed Keith Barnes' club record for first grade matches, he returned to England to play his final season with the Sheffield Eagles.
After accepting a manager-coach position with Salford, Jack was relieved from the coaching duties before being sacked as club manager in early 1995. This saw him return to Australia that year to help out the struggling Sydney Tigers (Balmain) side.
In the 1984 State of Origin series Jack made his New South Wales debut and played in all three games of that year's series. He was thereafter the Blues' first choice fullback for the next six years, aside from the 1987 fourth game exhibition match in Los Angeles when he made himself unavailable, and game I of 1988 when Cronulla's Jonathon Docking was preferred.
In 1984, he also made his international debut in the three match Ashes series against Great Britain. He played twenty successive Tests (nine versus Britain, seven against New Zealand and two each against France and Papua New Guinea) as well as the 1988 World Cup final against New Zealand and the Bicentenary International against a Rest of the World side.
On the 1986 Kangaroo tour, Jack played in all six Tests and seven minor Tour matches. He became the first Australian fullback to score three tries in a Test against France in the second Test.
On 20 July 1988, Jack played for Australia in their record 62-point win over Papua New Guinea, scoring a try. After Jack broke an arm in a 1989 pre-season match the door opened for his great State of Origin rival Queenslander Gary Belcher who from that point was the favoured Australian representative for the fullback position.
Jack's sons Kieren and Brandon both play for the Australian Football League's Sydney Swans. Another son, Rhys Jack, played in the Bulldogs Toyota Cup side and Balmain in the New South Wales Cup.
- Bill Harrigan with Daniel Lane (2003). Harrigan: the referee in a league of his own. Australia: Hachette.
- "O'Connor helps set Test records". The Age. 21 July 1988. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Richard Hinds (14 December 2005). "Jack of a new trade joins Swans". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 October 2008.
- Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition, News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney
- Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
- Gary Lester (editor) (1983). The Sun Book of Rugby League - 1983. Sydney, New South Wales: John Fairfax Marketing. p. 12. ISBN 0-909558-83-3.