|Webcke training with the Broncos in 2006|
28 September 1974 |
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||112 kg (17 st 9 lb)|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
Shane Webcke (born 28 September 1974 in Toowoomba, Queensland) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer, who spent his entire top-grade career playing for the Brisbane Broncos. His position of choice was at prop forward and at his peak he was renowned as the best front rower in the world. He is of German and Scottish descent. Webcke represented Queensland in the State of Origin on twenty-one separate occasions and has also captained the side. He also made eighteen test appearances for the Australian national side. Alongside Glenn Lazarus and Arthur Beetson, Webcke is considered by many to have been one of the finest post-war front-rowers to play the game.
Originally from Leyburn, Queensland and having played for Toowoomba, Webcke was scouted by Wayne Bennett, whom he acknowledges as the greatest influence on his career, after seeing him play as a schoolboy in 1993. The following year Webcke's father was killed in a work accident when he was still 19 years of age.
Webcke made his debut for the Broncos in the 1995 ARL season. Within two seasons he had his first premiership ring, when he helped Brisbane to victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the 1997 Super League season's grand final.
Webcke made his first appearance for the Queensland Maroons in the first game of the 1998 State of Origin series and was named man-of-the-match in the third and deciding game that year. From his debut until his retirement from representative football following Game III in 2004, no other player wore the number 8 for Queensland.
In 2000 Webcke broke his arm during the finals series that season but went on to play for the Broncos at prop forward in their 2000 NRL grand final victory over the Sydney Roosters. Post-season he was a member of the Australian team that won the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Webcke was also awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia's international standing in the sport of rugby league. Following Australia's World Cup victory, Webcke and teammate Gorden Tallis wrote an open letter to players appealing for an end to scandalous behaviour amongst footballers which had been tarnishing the sport.
Having won the 2000 NRL Premiership, the Broncos travelled to England to play against 2000's Super League V Champions, St Helens RLFC for the 2001 World Club Challenge, with Webcke playing at prop forward in Brisbane's loss. Webcke won the 2001 Brisbane Broncos season's best player award for the year. Post-season he refused to tour with the Kangaroos in the wake of the 11 September attacks. At the end of the 2003 NRL season, he went on the 2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, helping Australia to victory over Great Britain in the last time rugby league's Ashes series would be contested. Webcke was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played at prop forward in the Kangaroos' 44–4 victory.Webcke again won the Paul Morgan Medal for the Broncos' best and fairest player for the 2005 Brisbane Broncos season.
Having won premierships with the Brisbane Broncos club in 1997, 1998 and 2000, Webcke announced on 26 April 2006, that he would retire at the end of the 2006 NRL season. Webcke's final game was the Broncos' victory in the 2006 NRL Grand Final against the Melbourne Storm, days after his 32nd birthday.
Post-football, Webcke went on to release his successful auto-biography, Warhorse and also ventured into media with the Seven Network in Australia. Webcke's pub at Leyburn, Queensland – the Royal Hotel – is the longest, continuously licensed premises in Queensland. Webcke was set to become the first player to give the annual Tom Brock Lecture when he was invited to do so in 2007, but this did not eventuate.
In 2007 at the Broncos' 20-year anniversary celebration, the club announced a list of the 20 best players to play for them to date which included Webcke.
A few months later the Brisbane Broncos appointed Shane Webcke, along with Allan Langer as full-time assistant coaches to work alongside new head coach Ivan Henjak from the 2009 season. However shortly after the start of the season Webcke quit his post in the wake of controversy surrounding the release of his new book in which he was openly critical of the Broncos administration not standing down star players Darius Boyd, Sam Thaiday and Karmichael Hunt when police were investigating sexual assault allegations against them in September 2008. He went on to state that he was 'filthy' about the state of affairs at the Broncos. He also wrote that Andrew Johns should never have been included in the Australian rugby league team of the century after his confessions of illicit drug use during his career.
Webcke was also hired by Channel Seven to provide perspectives on Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans feature matches. He presents the sports segment on weeknights on the Brisbane edition of Seven News. He also worked on-screen with Matthew Johns in the first and only season of The Matty Johns Show.
Playing career highlights
- Junior Club: Wattles Allora/Clifton
- First Grade Debut: Round 10, Brisbane v. Norths at North Sydney, 19 May 1995 won
- First Grade Premierships: 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2006 with Brisbane Broncos (played 2000 Grand Final with broken arm)
- Career Stats: 254 career appearances with 18 tries
- State of Origin: 21 games for Queensland between 1998 and 2004
- International: 18 tests for Australia
- "Vella warns of Webcke power" AAP Sports News (Australia); 17 August 2000
- Heming, Wayne (23 September 2009). "Kenny deserves his success, says Webcke". theage.com.au. Fairfax digital. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
- Menzies, Steve; Tasker, Norman (2008). Beaver: The Steve Menzies Story. Australia: Allen & Unwin. p. 159. ISBN 9781741755602.
- Jackson, Glenn (2 October 2006). "Webcke top of the props". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
- Ritchie, Dean (2 October 2006). "Webcke fairytale". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
- Peter Badel & Steve Mascord (1 October 2006). "This one dedicated to Bennett". The Sunday Telegraph. Australia: News Limited. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
- Magnay, Jacquelin (2 October 2009). "Bring on the 4x2 – and those grand final hits". The Sydney Morning Herald. LeagueHQ. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Mercer, Phil (25 April 2001). "Australia's game of shame". BBC News. UK: BBC. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
- Hadfield, Dave (11 July 2002). "Violent tone marks build-up to Ashes Test". Independent, The. London: Independent News and Media Limited. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
- Magnay, Jacquelin (2 October 2006). "Lockyer's heroes embrace their victory". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 16 December 2009.
- Phil Rothfield & Phillip Heads (17 December 2006). "Webcke to speak his mind". The Sunday Telegraph. Australia: News Limited. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
- Dekroo, Karl (9 May 2007). "Still the king". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 8 December 2009. Archived 12 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
- Halloran, Jessica (11 April 2009). "Told, Shane: Webcke's honest approach a road less travelled". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Crawley, Paul; Marshall, Matt; Dick, Barry (25 March 2009). "Now Shane Webcke will publish book he planned to pulp". The Daily Telegraph.
- Webcke, Shane; Ian Heads (2006). Warhorse: Life, Football and Other Battles. Australia: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9781405037525.
- Shane Webcke; Damien Richards; Glen Hanna (2007). Icons of Australian sport: Shane Webcke. HyperActive Inc. ISBN 9780980301526.
- Shane Webcke; Ian Heads (2009). Hard road. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9781405038874.