Mark Carroll (rugby league)
Carroll in 2012
26 February 1967|
Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||194 cm (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||114 kg (17 st 13 lb; 251 lb)|
Mark "Spud" Carroll (born 26 February 1967) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. A prop-forward, he represented Australia internationally and New South Wales in State of Origin, and played club football in Australia for the Penrith Panthers, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and in England for the London Broncos.
Carroll was a member of the Penrith Panthers 1987 reserve grade premiers. He played in three seasons of first grade at Penrith between 1987–1989.
Carroll found immediate success after moving to South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1990, earning him a surprise selection as a reserve for the one-off Test against France at Parkes, New South Wales (having not yet played at State of Origin level). At the end of the 1990 NSWRL season, he went on the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France but made only six appearances due to a knee injury. He played with South Sydney Rabbitohs for four seasons between 1990–1993.
Carroll moved to Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in 1994, but despite being a shadow player for New South Wales and the Australian Test team, he failed to make a second Kangaroo Tour at the end of the year.
Carroll's representative career gained a boost with the Super League split in 1995 when he won a belated NSW jersey. Despite being suspended for a stiff-arm tackle on David Furner and missing the State of Origin match in Melbourne, he was selected for Australia to play against New Zealand. A member of Australia's victorious World Cup team in 1995, his appearances against New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Rest of the World teams over the next two years boosted his Test total to 12 matches. He is listed on the Australian Players Register as Kangaroo No. 600.
While Carroll obviously enjoyed playing in a stronger pack at Manly, three consecutive grand Final appearances (1995–97) garnered just the one premiership success, in 1996.
At the end of 1997, he left Manly to play for the London Broncos but the move was not a success and he cited homesickness as the reason for his return. Carroll re-joined South Sydney Rabbitohs in 1999 and was an important part of the club's early season resurgence. Recalled to rep football in the Second State of Origin match that year, he was knocked out in the series decider after a controversial tackle by Jason Smith.
In 2000, Carroll was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in rugby league. He has since gained some notoriety as the international bodyguard of actor Russell Crowe.
- Rugby League Project
- Yesterday's Hero
- ARL Annual Report 2005, page 56
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