|Raudonikis in 2008|
|Full name||Tom Raudonikis|
13 April 1950 |
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||11 st 7 lb (73 kg)|
|1971–80||New South Wales||24||11||0||0||33|
|1995–99||Western Suburbs Magpies||114||39||1||74||34|
|1997–98||New South Wales||6||3||0||3||50|
|Source: RL stats RLP|
Tommy Raudonikis OAM (born 13 April 1950 in Cowra, 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
Raudonikis is the son of a Lithuanian father and a Swiss mother who emigrated to Australia after WWII. He 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.
- 240+ senior game for Western Suburbs Magpies and Newtown Jets
- Won the 1972 Rothmans Medal
Representative playing career
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
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.
In the media
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.)
Currently Raudonikis works as a part of the Channel 9 rugby league commentary team.
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. 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.
- 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.
- "World Series". Rugby League Week (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Rugby League Week Pty Ltd) (1975–1976): pg 85.
- Rugby League Project
- Rugby League Project
- Roy Masters (2 August 2006). "Tom terrific after heart cops beating". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- Douglas Kennedy and Elissa Blake (19 August 2007). "League legends in The Final Winter". The Sunday Mail (Australia: Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Peter Cassidy (23 February 2008). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Centenary of Rugby League – The Players". NRL & ARL. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- westsmagpies.net (2008). "Western Suburbs Magpies Hall of Fame". Wests Archives. Western Suburbs Magpies R.L.F.C. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- Tom Raudonikis' Website
- Tommy Raudonikis, Wests Rugby League Team and the Working Class of Campbelltown, New South Wales - article in Football Studies 1998 Vol 1
- Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson (2007). The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. Wetherill Park, New South Wales: Gary Allen Pty Ltd. ISBN 978-1-877082-93-1.
|Australian national rugby league captain
Wayne Ellis (caretaker)
Western Suburbs Magpies
New South Wales