Reg Gasnier

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Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Reg William Gasnier
Nickname(s)
Puff The Magic Dragon
Born
Friday, 12th May, 1939
Died
Sunday, 11th May, 2014 (Aged 74 years and 364 days)
Place Of Birth
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Awards & Accolades

Australian Hall Of Fame
2002

Known Family Links

Nephew
Mark Gasnier
Cousin
Dennis Tutty

Biography

Decades after his retirement the name 'Gasnier' still inspires memories of one of the greatest players the game has produced. Reg Gasnier was one of those rare players who come along only once in a lifetime and his particular role in the champion Dragon sides of the 1960s earned him the title of ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon’. The St George junior burst onto the representative scene in 1959 when he scored three tries on debut for NSW and another hat-trick in the Second Test against NZ. Despite missing out on the grand final that year because of injury, he went on to have a remarkable tour with the 1959-50 Kangaroos. Gasnier scored three tries in the First Test against Great Britain and although the series was ultimately lost, he went on to play against France (1960), in the 1960 World Cup and against NZ (1961). In 1962 he became the youngest Australian Test captain (22 years and 28 days) when Great Britain returned to Australia. Gasnier is the first to admit that the Test captaincy was thrust upon him too early. Replaced as captain by Keith Barnes in the Second Test, Gasnier returned to lead Australia against South Africa (1963), NZ (1963) and France (1964) – the latter series as captain-coach. Although he was not captain, Gasnier returned to England with the 1963-64 Kangaroos to play his part in winning the Ashes. On that memorable tour, Gasnier scored three tries in the First Test and backed up with a double in the 'Swinton Massacre' to help Australia secure the Ashes in England for the first time since 1911. While Gasnier may have been a freakish individual, he was also a consummate team player and his career reflected his clean-cut, sportsman-like manner. Both hugely popular and well respected, he had the grace of a thoroughbred in full stride - beautifully balanced with amazing acceleration. He was the season's leading try-scorer in 1960 (25t), 1963 (24t) and 1964 (18t). After scoring another hat-trick of tries in St George’s 1960 grand final win, he eventually played in six premiership-winning sides (1960-65). He missed most of the 1966 season and the Ashes series, with a knee injury but was selected as Australian captain-coach against NZ on the 1967-68 Kangaroo Tour. A broken leg in the First Test loss against Great Britain spelt disaster. Australia retained the Ashes after a troubled tour but Gasnier made a premature return in a French provincial match at Avingnon on December 21 and again broke down. After he limped from the field, Gasnier announced his retirement to a shocked press contingent. Although just 28 years old when he was lost to the game, Gasnier retired with over a century of tries to his credit and the then record 36 Test matches against all RL nations. He went on to have a long career as a League commentator with the ABC and along with Churchill, Raper and Fulton he ranks as one of four original 'immortals' selected in a Rugby League Week promotion during the 1980s.

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1959-65, 1967 39 28 -   - 84 25 13 1 64.10% Match list
Overall 1959-1967 39 28 0   0 84 25 13 1 64.10% Match list

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1959-1960 3 2 -   - 6 2 1 0 66.67% Match list
Overall 1960 3 2 0   0 6 2 1 0 66.67% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW Firsts 1959-65, 1967 17 13 3   - 45 13 3 1 76.47% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1959-60, 1963-65, 1967 6 3 -   - 9 6 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1959-1967 23 16 3   0 54 19 3 1 82.61% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George NSWRFL 1959 ? 13 -   - 39  
St George NSWRFL 1960 ? 25 -   - 75  
St George NSWRFL 1961 ? 10 1   - 32  
St George NSWRFL 1962 ? 15 2   - 49  
St George NSWRFL 1963 ? 24 12   - 96  
St George NSWRFL 1964 ? 18 4   - 62  
St George NSWRFL 1965 ? 10 1   - 32  
St George NSWRFL 1966 ? 1 -   - 3  
St George NSWRFL 1967 ? 11 -   - 33  
Overall 1959-1967 ? 127 20   0 421 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George 1959-67 ? 127 20   - 421 ? ? ? ?  
Overall 1959-1967 ? 127 20   0 421 ? ? ? ?  

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
St George 1959-60, 1962, 1964, 1967 5 128 20   - 424 4 1 0 80.00% Match list
Overall 1959-1967 5 128 20   0 424 4 1 0 80.00% Match list

Your Say

ROB CLEMETT says: WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE YOUTHFUL "PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON" PROMOTED AS PART OF THE AUSTRALIAN RUGBY LEAGUE IMAGE THIS YEAR, EITHER AS A MOTIF FOR THE TEAM TO WEAR OR ON THE A.R.L. WEBSITE.
ROB CLEMETT/ST GEORGE RUGBY LEAGUE SUPPORTER. (13/07/2011)

E Curb Nottus says: The Renown United junior, dubbed by Warren Ryan "the Prince of Centres", was the showcase jewel in the St George crown of the 1960s.
Gasnier was a wonderfully balanced runner with a terrifically indiscernible change of pace. His unrivalled acceleration earned him and his outside supports many, many tries.

Impeccably behaved and fair always on and off the field, he was an obvious choice for the captaincy. (08/05/2012)

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Last modified: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 01:14:07 +1000 (Sydney time)