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Vale Jim Lenehan

Sat, 27/08/2022, 11:16 pm
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of former Wallabies captain Jim Lenehan. Photo Supplied
The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of former Wallabies captain Jim Lenehan. Photo Supplied

The Australian Rugby community is mourning the loss of Wallabies captain Jim Lenehan, who passed away during the week aged 84.

Lenehan was Wallaby captain #48, going on to play 24 Tests between 1958-67.

Lenehan is one of few to be selected on both the fourth and fifth Wallaby tours to Britain, showcasing his Rugby potential at an early age during his time at Saint Ignatius College, Riverview.

The talent was recognised by Australian coach Alan Roper, who coached at the school, selecting him on the bench for the 1957-58 Wallaby trials despite no representative experience.

He instantly impressed, winning selection at 19, switched to centre when Jim Phipps suffered a broken leg.

Lenehan became a mainstay of the team throughout the tour, playing 32 of 41 matches, before making his Test debut against Wales.

He went on to lead the point-scoring for the tour with 114 points as he played in the final three Tests against England, Scotland and France.

Lenehan started all three home Tests against the Maori the following year, the first at inside centre and the final two at fullback before a leg injury cut his tour short.

He rebounded and won selection for South Africa in 1961, before being named captain in 1962 against New Zealand.

Injury forced his withdrawal from the first test, however, he returned to fullback for the second Test to lead the side as they went down 14-5 in Sydney.

After concerns with his fitness, Lenehan made a major return in 1965, selected at fullback in both home Test wins over South Africa, their first home wins against the Springboks.

On the Fifth Wallabies tour in 1966-67, Lenehan started all five Tests against Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and France, helping Australia to its first victory over the Welsh.

He would feature at fullback in 1967 in his final season of International Rugby as the Wallabies went down 11-5 to Ireland.

Jim Lenehan played 24 Tests for Australia in a ten-year international career. 

Jim is survived by wife Sue, children James, Julia, Sam and Sophie and grandchildren Emily, Angus, Zoe, Olivia, Heidi, Darcy, Zara, Claudia, Lexie, Phoebe, Charlie and Sybella

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