Arthur Beetson, Ron Coote, Arthur Summons, Bob Fulton, Johnny Raper
7 April 2021 (aged 70) Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
13 April 1950 (aged 70), Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Tommy raudonikis brl legend brl interviews 24
Tommy Raudonikis OAM (13 April 1950 – 7 April 2021) was 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.
- Tommy raudonikis brl legend brl interviews 24
- Tommy Raudonikis Talks Playing and Coaching NRL Footy Show Ep22 27 07 2016
- Early life and club playing career
- Representative playing career
- Coaching career
- In the media
Tommy Raudonikis Talks Playing and Coaching | NRL Footy Show | Ep22 27-07-2016
Early life and club playing career
Raudonikis 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.
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.
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.)
Raudonikis made an appearance in the 2007 rugby league drama film, The Final Winter.
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.
On 7th April 2021, he died at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer.