|Full name||Laurie Spina|
21 May 1963 |
|Source: RL stats|
Laurie Spina (born 21 May 1963) is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s.
Laurie Spina was continually a stand-out player during his junior years in the Herbert River local league competition. His commitment and consistency landed him his first Foley Shield match against previous year title holders, Mount Isa. From that day Laurie Spina never looked back, taking out man of the match honours on his debut. He continued to represent Herbert River and was even a squad member of the undefeated Herbert River team in 1982 and that very remarkable drawn Foley Shield final in Townsville against Townsville.
North Sydney Bears & Eastern Suburbs Roosters
After two seasons with the North Sydney Bears, the halfback moved to the Eastern Suburbs club where he stayed until 1989, in his 5 years at the Eastern Suburbs Roosters Spina played in 98 matches and scored 19 tries.
In 1987 many judges thought Spina would wear the Maroon for Queensland in the 1987 State of Origin series after playing in a State of Origin trial played at Lang Park between a Qld Residents team and a Qld NSW Residents team. Playing for the Blues, Spina played alongside Sam Backo, another Ingham product. He was widely thought to have had a much better game than his opposite number, Ipswich player, Allan Langer, but was sensationally left out of the Qld team for the series and never went on to play a game for the Maroons. For his part, Langer went on to become a Queensland Origin legend, playing in the Maroon on 37 occasions.
After spending the 1990 season with Cronulla Sharks, the New South Wales club dropped into a period of poor form and financial troubles, but the appointment as coach of rugby league Immortal, Arthur Beetson, helping to turn on-field problems around. During this time Laurie moved back to his home North Queensland and once again played for Herbert River.
North Queensland Cowboys
His form stayed with him at Herbert River and when the North Queensland Cowboys entered the Australian Rugby League competition in 1995, Spina again played the game at the top level with the Townsville based newcomers. During the Cowboys debut season, Laurie Spina incredibly played the house down getting himself in line once more for another crack at State selection. Unfortunately for him selectors chose Papua New Guinea captain Adrian Lam.
Laurie now manages his canefarm in Macknade, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) outside the rural town of Ingham, Queensland. Laurie plays an important role of managing young talent playing for the local Herbert River Junior Rugby League club. Laurie also has an annual U11 footy tournament named after him played at Dairy Farmers Stadium.