22 August 1956 |
Wauchope, New South Wales
|Position||Wing, Fullback, Lock|
|Source: RLP Yesterday's Hero|
Ian 'Shoey' Schubert (born 22 August 1956 in Wauchope, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. He later became chief salary cap auditor for the National Rugby League. An Australian international representative player, Schubert had a long club career which began with a sensational opening season for Eastern Suburbs, before fading out and re-inventing himself with Manly-Warringah and Western Suburbs so well that he regained his Australian jumper after having been in reserve grade a year prior. By the time his career closed Schubert had played 269 first grade games, which stood as the third highest in the history of the NSWRFL.
In 1982, Schubert was a member of the 1982 Kangaroo tour, the team being the first to go through Great Britain and France undefeated, earning themselves the nickname "The Invincibles". Though he didn't play any of the tests on the tour, he played in 12 minor games and scored 3 tries.
Originally from the timber town of Wauchope, Schubert was selected to play for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1972. He was first recommended to Eastern Suburbs coach Jack Gibson in 1974. Although not out of school at the time, Schubert instantly became a regular first grader on the wing - in the process relegating the previous season's leading try scorer Bill Mullins to reserve grade! When Easts rugby union convert fullback Russell Fairfax was injured, Schubert was shifted to fullback with devastating effect. He scored fourteen tries that year and set up many others. In the grand final against St George the youngster was named as 'Man Of The Match' for his outstanding performance. Schubert's performance in that match earned him a place in the Australian team for that season's World Cup. In a match against Wales in Swansea he scored a hat-trick. In the tournament he did extremely well, twice scoring three tries in one match against Wales and briefly moving to lock forward - a move that foreshadowed his post-Eastern Suburbs career. During the 1976 NSWRFL season, Schubert played at fullback as a wing three-quarter back for Eastern Suburbs in their unofficial 1976 World Club Challenge match against British champions St. Helens in Sydney. The following years saw Schubert fail to maintain the form of his debut season. However, his pace out wide was still good enough for him to be selected for the 1978 Kangaroo tour, on which he played ten matches but could not displace the incomparable Eadie from his Test place, nor even Chris Anderson from his wing berth. His return to Australia in 1979, however, saw such a decline that by the time Easts had returned to the top under the coaching of Bob Fulton, Schubert had been relegated to reserve grade and he was not seen in the club's 1980 grand final loss to Canterbury-Bankstown. Easts did not have him in their plans for 1981, but Schubert signed with Western Suburbs and, despite not being consistent, played in the club's reserve grade grand final win.
However, it was a surprise when Schubert, returning to Easts after having put on quite a bit of weight, re-invented himself as a skilful ball-playing forward to such effect that, despite injuries preventing him playing in a second grand final, was chosen for his second Kangaroo tour in 1982. He was not as effective as on his previous tour and signed with the big-spending Manly club for 1983, playing a significant part in a most impressive season that faltered only at the last hurdle. Schubert was also Player of the Series in the 1983 KB Cup, but the following year he declined to yet again lose his first grade berth.
Believing himself still with something to offer, Ian Schubert returned to Western Suburbs - who in the previous two years had been exceedingly lucky to remain in the NSWRL competition after losing almost all of their best players - to regain a first grade spot and offer experience to a youthful side. In the period 1986 to 1988, Schubert's experience was very valuable to Western Suburbs and undoubtedly helped develop many of the young players who moved the club off the bottom in the early 1990s. He was their leading pointscorer for the three years from 1986 to 1988 - remarkable for someone who was previously not a regular goalkicker. In fact, in his fifth-last appearance in first grade, Schubert kicked a field goal for the first time in his fourteen-year career. Schubert was later named as a second-rower and as vice-captain in the Western Suburbs Team of the Eighties.
Even before he retired as a player in 1989, Schubert had been coaching Western Suburbs' reserve grade side. He showed his talent as a lower grade coach with Canterbury-Bankstown in the early 1990s but with the Super League split and Chris Anderson's tight grip could never get to coach first grade. In recent years Schubert has been back in the headlines in his new role as auditor for the National Rugby League's salary cap and a number of unsavoury comments concerning breaches of the regulations.
On 22 April 2010, it was brought to his attention that the Melbourne Storm had been cheating the salary cap system for over five years, thus making headlines not only in New South Wales and Queensland but also the rest of the country and even overseas.
- Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen; The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players (3rd edition); published 1998 by Gary Allen Pty. Ltd.; 9 Cooper Street, Smithfield, New South Wales, 2164.