Profile - Greg Shambrook
Greg Shambrook began his Rugby career at the age of ten playing Rugby League at school. Until he developed a love for tackling, he spent his first few games doing everything he could avoid any physical contact. Humble beginnings for someone who became known for his crash-tackling prowess.
He played his very first game of Rugby Union for Miami High School against The Southport School in 1965 and did not like the game at all after being trounced by a huge score to nil. The very next year he was playing for TSS as he began his first year there as a boarder where he had five years of schooling in the 15-man game.
In 1971 he captained Seagull's Under 18's to a grand final victory and was awarded the Jack Anderson Cup for Best and Fairest and a special Group 18 Referee's Award for most valuable player.
During 1974 he was selected to play for Queensland and held the inside-centre position under 1977.
In 1976 he was only one of four players to represent Queensland in all twelve games. This year was regarded as the QRU as 'undoubtedly Queensland's finest year in the rugby field' and included the highlight of a record margin 42-4 win over New South Wales. This was also the year Greg was ultimately rewarded with selection in the Australian side playing two Tests against Fiji at home and touring with the Wallabies to France and Italy at the end of that season.
Early in 1978 Greg left Australia on a personal rugby sojourn to Durban, South Africa where he spent two years playing Club and Provincial rugby. He 'retired' from rugby after returning home to marry and start a family, but always maintained a level of fitness by running on the beach and swimming 2-3 times per week, playing touch football and competing in a number of half-marathons, fun runs and short course triathlons.
In 1991 he was honoured to once again represent a Australia on the rugby field playing for the Classic Wallabies in an over 35's series against the New Zealand Classic All Blacks. Later that year he toured with the Classic Wallabies to Bermuda to compete in the World Rugby Classic. His return to rugby was perpetuated for four more seasons when at the age of forty he coached and played rugby for Palmer Chiropractic College in America.
Maintaining a level of fitness allowed him to come out of retirement again in 2000 to tour with the Classic Wallabies to Japan. At forty-seven he was the oldest former Wallaby on tour.
Greg Hartung writing in The Australian and Frank O'Callaghan in the Courier Mail in 1974 both used the term 'brilliant crash-tackling Rugby Union three-quarter'. Hartung wrote that Greg had 'blossomed into a smooth, efficient and spectacular Rugby Union centre', and O'Callaghan said 'in attack, an incisive runner with a baffling sidestep'.
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