25 October 1950 |
Sydney, New South Wales
Max Krilich (born 25 October 1950 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1970s and 1980s. He was a hooker for the Australia national team, playing in 13 Tests from 1978 to 1983 and as captain on 10 consecutive occasions in 1982 and 1983. He was the captain of the 1982 "Invincibles" Australian touring side.
Krilich played rugby union at school before joining the Harbord United Rugby League Club. He was graded by the Manly Sea Eagles in 1969. Australian World Cup hooker Freddie Jones was the Manly captain when Krilich joined the club so he had to bide his time and played in over 100 reserve grade games until 1974 before he cemented the first grade hooker position when Jones retired. After the departure of Bob Fulton to Eastern Suburbs after Manly's 1976 premiership win, Krilich assumed the club captaincy.
He played 215 first grade games with the club and 119 reserve grade games up till his retirement in 1983.
Unusually Krilich was selected in the City 2nds while playing reserve grade for Manly in 1971. It would be another six years before he was selected for representative honours. In the 1978 finals series, Manly played six matches in 24 days to make it through to the Grand Final and the subsequent Grand Final replay where they beat Cronulla. Krilich was selected in the Australian side that toured New Zealand weeks later. He played the first two Tests but season fatigue and injury affected his form and he was replaced by George Peponis for the 3rd Test. It would be four years later before Krilich would regain a Test spot and grab the Australian captaincy.
In 1982, after leading New South Wales into the 1st three-match State of Origin series, Krilich led Australia to victory in two Tests against New Zealand. He was then named as captain of the 1982 Kangaroos, the Frank Stanton-coached side which swept aside all before them becoming the first team to go through Great Britain and France undefeated to become known as "The Invincibles".
Krilich was forced to retire in August 1983 because of a chronic neck injury, taking on an administrative role with the Manly club. An attempted coaching career ended when his reserve grade side failed to win a match in 1991.
|New South Wales||8||1977–1983|
- 215 1st grade ; 119 reserve grade
- Šutalo, Ilija (2004). Croatians in Australia: pioneers, settlers and their descendants. Wakefield Press. p. 305. ISBN 9781862546516.
- John MacDonald, Roy Masters and Daniel Williams (1991-09-15). "How your team went in season '91". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. p. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- Whiticker, Alan (2004) Captaining the Kangaroos, New Holland, Sydney
|Australian national rugby league captain