You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chairman Peter V’landys AM today paid tribute to a pioneer of Australian sport, Lionel Morgan, who sadly passed away last night.

Mr Morgan was the first Indigenous Australian to represent Australia in any major code. He played two Rugby League Tests for Australia against a touring French team in 1960 before he was chosen to represent Australia at the 1960 World Cup in England.

Morgan, who played for and coached Wynnum Manly Seagulls, represented Queensland as a winger in 12 interstate matches between 1960 and 1963 and in four games for Queensland against touring international teams.

"Lionel Morgan was a trailblazer," Mr V’landys said. "Rugby League is incredibly proud of his legacy as the first ever Indigenous athlete to represent Australia in any major code.

"He was selected in the Australian Rugby League’s Indigenous Team of the Century in 2008. It was a fitting reward and left him proudly alongside the likes of Arthur Beetson, Johnathan Thurston and Steve Renouf.

"The Australian Rugby League Commission and everyone across the game will be very saddened by Lionel’s passing, but his legacy will remain forever. He was and always will be an inspiration to many of our players."

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.