|Born||18 August 1964|
|Height||185 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||108 kg (17 st 0 lb)|
|Source: NRL Stats & RLP|
Mark Sargent (born 18 August 1964 in New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s, and 1990s. A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative forward, he played in the NSWRL premiership for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Newcastle Knights, winning the Rothmans Medal in 1989 while playing for Newcastle.
A Newcastle junior, Mark Sargent signed with Canterbury-Bankstown and made his first grade debut for the Bulldogs on 13 April 1986 against the North Sydney Bears at the Belmore Sports Ground. Sargent would play 19 games for the Bulldogs until the end of the 1988 NSWRL season and was unlucky to miss a place in their premiership winning team that year.
In 1989, Sargent signed for the Newcastle Knights who had been admitted to the competition in 1988. That year he co-won the Rothman's Medal for 'best and fairest' player of the year along with Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks second rower Gavin Miller.
Sargent was selected to represent New South Wales, playing from the bench in Game III of the 1990 State of Origin series. At the end of the 1990 NSWRL season, he went on the 1990 Kangaroo tour, becoming the Knights' first international representative. Sargent played in 11 games on the Kangaroo Tour, scoring 3 tries. He made his test debut for Australia as a substitute in the third and deciding Ashes test against Great Britain at Elland Road in Leeds won by the Kangaroos 14-0, and went on to play from the bench in the two tests series win over France at the end of the tour. He had actually been selected as a substitute for the second Ashes test against Great Britain at Old Trafford in Manchester in what was to be his test debut, however coach Bob Fulton did not use any of the teams subs (Sargent, Des Hasler, Greg Alexander and David Gillespie) during the game won 14-10 by Australia thanks to a last minute try to captain Mal Meninga. The win by the Kangaroos in Manchester kept the Ashes series alive after the Lions had produced a shock 19-12 win in the first test at London's Wembley Stadium. His selection for the second test saw Sargent become the Knights first ever test representative.
An injury riddled 1991 season saw him miss selection for both NSW and Australia's successful home Trans-Tasman series against New Zealand. He bounced back in 1992, though he again missed selection for both NSW in the Origin series as well as The Ashes series defence against the touring Great Britain side. However, he regained his test spot when he was selected on the bench for a mid-season 1992 World Cup qualifier against Papua New Guinea in Townsville where he crossed for his only test try in a 36-14 win for the Aussies. His form continued for the Knights and along with his front row partner Paul Harragon who made his Test and Origin debut in 1992, helped Newcastle into their first ever finals series.
At the end of the 1992 season, Sargent, Harragon and fullback Brad Godden were the Knights players selected to Australia's victorious World Cup Final squad for a 4-game mini-tour of England (the Australian's played three lead up games against English club sides). Sargent was the only one of the trio selected for the final played in front of the then international rugby league record attendance of 73,631 at Wembley Stadium. The match, won by Australia 10-6 thanks to a late Steve Renouf try, was Sargent's last game for Australia and the only one of his 5 tests that he would be in the starting team.
Sargent, a strong running and skillful 6'1" (185 cm), 108 kg (17 st 0 lb) Prop forward, retired from playing at the end of the 1995 ARL season. He played 145 games (19 for Canterbury, 126 for Newcastle) and scored 18 tries in his career (all for the Knights). He represented New South Wales on one occasion in State of Origin, and also represented Country Origin on three occasions between 1989 and 1994. He was also captain of the Knights in 1995 along with fellow front rower Paul Harragon.
Sargent was a member of the NRL Judiciary in 1999 and 2000, and was the team manager at the Knights when they won the 2001 NRL Grand Final 30-24 over Parramatta. Sargent resigned from the position in 2005 after publicly voicing his concerns over the future of the Newcastle club.
Sargent now works for himself and along with his wife, owns a Video rental Store in the Newcastle suburb of Belmont. He no longer is involved in the NRL, 'I only go to Old Boys matches, to catch up with mates.' Sargent said in an interview last year.[when?]
- 1986 Canterbury-Bankstown vs North Sydney at Rugby League Project
- "State Of Origin - Game 3, 1990". Rugby League Tables. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- "Mark Sargent". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Hunter Mariners 1908.com
- "Sargent re joins Knights as football manager" (fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2000-11-27. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- "Sargent quits after going public on future of the Knights" (fee required). AAP Sports News (Australia). 2005-06-07. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- "Doctor Mark Sargent". Rugby League Week. 10 August 2015.