Tommy Raudonikis

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Tommy Raudonikis
Tom Raudonikis.jpg
Personal information
Full name Tom Raudonikis
Nickname Tom Terrific[1]
Born (1950-04-13) 13 April 1950 (age 67)
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Weight 11 st 7 lb (73 kg)[2]
Position Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1969–79 Western Suburbs 202 29 0 0 87
1980–82 Newtown Jets 37 4 0 0 12
1983 Brothers (Brisbane)
Total 239 33 0 0 99
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–80 New South Wales 24 11 0 0 33
1971–80 Australia 20 2 0 0 6
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1983 Brothers (Brisbane)
Norths (Brisbane)
Ipswich Jets
1995–99 Western Suburbs Magpies 114 39 1 74 34
Total 114 39 1 74 34
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1997–98 New South Wales 6 3 0 3 50
Source: RL stats RLP

Tommy Raudonikis OAM (born 13 April 1950[3] in Bathurst, New South Wales) is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. He played over twenty-nine Tests and World Cup games as Australia representative halfback and captained his country in two Tests of the 1973 Kangarooo tour.

Early life and club playing career[edit]

Raudonikis is the son of a Lithuanian immigrant father and a Swiss immigrant mother. Tommy played 202 games for the Western Suburbs Magpies between 1969 and 1979 before moving to the Newtown Jets for 37 games in three seasons between 1980 and 1982. Raudonikis played under two famous coaches, Roy Masters at Wests and Warren Ryan at Newtown. Some rate him the toughest player ever to have played in the halves and in September 2004 he was named in the Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century. Tom Raudonikis was Western Suburbs Club Captain from 1971 to 1979, and was Newtown Club Captain from 1980 to 1982.[4]

  • 240+ senior game for Western Suburbs Magpies and Newtown Jets
  • Won the 1972 Rothmans Medal

Representative playing career[edit]

He was first selected in an Australian squad in 1971 behind Souths halfback Bob Grant and made his run on debut in 1972 against the Kiwis (the same year he won the Rothmans Medal for best club player for the season). He was the regular Test halfback for the next six years. He made Test appearances up until 1980 by which time he was being challenged by Greg Oliphant and Steve Mortimer. He was the captain of the New South Wales State of Origin team in the inaugural 1980 contest.

  • NSW and Australian halfback throughout the 1970s
  • First NSW State of Origin captain in 1980
  • Coached NSW Blues in 1997 and 1998 Origin Series
  • NSW Sporting Hall of Fame
  • Kangaroos captain in 1973 for 2 tests
  • 29 Test and World Cup caps


  • Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1982
  • Team of the Century with Wests Tigers and Western Suburbs
  • Wests Magpies # 1 club man in 100 years and Magpie Immortal
  • Voted Newtown’s Greatest Import in 100 years
  • Men of Leagues’ Toughest 12 in last 50 years
  • ARL’s greatest 100 in past 100 years

Coaching career[edit]

Raudonikis' final playing year was in a captain coach role at Brisbane Brothers in 1983. He later coached Brisbane Norths and the Ipswich Jets in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership. Returning to Sydney, he was coach of the Western Suburbs Magpies from 1995 up until the formation of the Wests Tigers joint venture with the Balmain Tigers at the end of 1999. He had some initial coaching success making the finals in 1996, but Wests were ultimately unable to build on this and only won six games in their final two seasons.

Raudonikis coached the Blues in the 1997 and 1998 series. In those series he entered State of Origin folklore when he introduced the "Cattledog" call to which NSW players responded by breaking from the scrum with fists flying, resulting in two infamous all-in-brawls.

"'Tom Terrific' is impervious to pain. On and off the field Raudonikis was all heart and hustle. Determination and toughness marked his 20 Tests for Australia and his long career with Wests and Newtown and followed him to coaching in Brisbane and Sydney."

Roy Masters [5]

In the media[edit]

He is a long term friend of 2GB radio station owner John Singleton. Through this friendship, he also participates as a commentator for the Continuous Call Team with Ray Hadley on 2GB.

His hospitalisation in August 2006, for a heart bypass operation, made Australian sports news and drew messages of support from a spectrum of famous former players including Wests icons Arthur Summons (the subject of the NRL trophy with Norm Provan.)[6]

Raudonikis made an appearance in the 2007 rugby league drama film, The Final Winter.[7]

Currently Raudonikis works as a part of the Channel 9 rugby league commentary team.

Raudonikis in 2008

In February 2008, Raudonikis was named in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (1908–2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia.[8][9] Also in 2008 the Western Suburbs Magpies celebrated their centenary by inducting six inaugural members into the club's Hall of Fame. These six included Raudonikis.[10]


  1. ^ Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. p. 453. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1. 
  2. ^ a b "World Series". Rugby League Week. Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Rugby League Week Pty Ltd (1975–1976): pg 85. 
  3. ^ Rugby League Project
  4. ^ Rugby League Project
  5. ^ Roy Masters (2 August 2006). "Tom terrific after heart cops beating". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Roy Masters (2 August 2006). "Tom terrific after heart cops beating". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  7. ^ Douglas Kennedy and Elissa Blake (19 August 2007). "League legends in The Final Winter". The Sunday Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  9. ^ "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  10. ^ (2008). "Western Suburbs Magpies Hall of Fame". Wests Archives. Western Suburbs Magpies R.L.F.C. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 

External links[edit]


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bob McCarthy
Australian national rugby league captain
Succeeded by
Arthur Beetson
Preceded by
Wayne Ellis (caretaker)
Western Suburbs Magpies

Succeeded by
Club merged
Preceded by
Phil Gould
New South Wales

Succeeded by
Wayne Pearce