- Monday, 20th October, 1969
- Current Age
- 53 years and 341 days
- Place Of Birth
- Junee, New South Wales, Australia
Awards & Accolades
- Dally M Five-Eighth Of The Year
- 1995, 1996
- Dally M Player Of The Year
- RLW Player of the Year
- Dally M Captain Of The Year
- National Rugby League Hall Of Fame
- NSWRL Hall Of Fame
Signed by Don Furner in 1986 after he was spotted playing first grade at Junee as a 16-year-old Laurie Daley was graded in the club's Jersey Flegg side in 1987. By the end of the year he was sitting on the bench in the Raiders' grand final loss to Manly. Daley never played a reserve grade game during his career and represented Country Origin in 1988 after only a handful of matches. In 1989 he broke into the NSW team as a centre and played a major role in Canberra's triumphant fightback in the grand final against Balmain. His head bandaged after suffering a nasty gash, Daley threw the overhead pass that resulted in John Ferguson's try and took the match into extra-time. During the 1990s Daley showed his immeasurable talents at both centre and five-eighth. He partnered Allan Langer against NZ in his Test debut 1990 and showed big-match experience beyond his years in scoring a great try in Canberra's grand final win over Penrith that year. In what became a familiar pattern during his career, an injured hand kept him out of the First Test on the 1990 Kangaroo Tour and he played in just 6 matches, including three Tests. In 1991 Daley recovered from yet another injury to take his place in the deciding two Tests of the Trans Tasman series but he was not as effective in the Raiders’ grand final loss to Penrith because of a knee injury. At age 22 in 1992, he captained NSW Country to its first win over City in 17 years before leading NSW to State of Origin victory. Daley was selected in the centres against Great Britain but was moved back to pivot for the deciding Third Test of the Ashes series. Injury ruled him out of Australia's World Cup triumph at year’s end but in 1993, he deputised for the suspended Mal Meninga and captained Australia in the First Test against the Kiwis in Auckland. Daley's coolly-potted field goal salvaged a 14-all draw against NZ before Meninga returned to lead Australia to a series victory. 1994 saw Daley's reputation as one of the world's best players secured. He captained NSW to victory in a third consecutive State of Origin series; was the architect of Australia's 58-0 thrashing of France at P’matta Stadium and played a starring role in Canberra's grand final rout of C’bury. To cap a memorable year he was a try-scorer in each of Australia's three Test wins on the Kangaroo Tour. As unofficial 'vice-captain' on the 1994 tour, and with a taste of the Australian Test captaincy already behind him, Daley was the logical successor to out-going Test captain Mal Meninga until a pre-season controversy concerning the choice of Ricky Stuart as Canberra captain seemed to cloud the issue. This problem, which was momentarily solved when Stuart relinquished the captaincy, paled into significance once Daley and his Canberra team-mates aligned with Super League. Stood down from representative duty in 1995 by the ARL Daley was nevertheless named ‘Dally M’ Player of the Year and was regularly used as a ‘rebel’ figurehead during the ensuing years. In 1996 Daley was overlooked for the NSW captaincy and declined an Australian Test jersey along with a swag of Super League-signed players when an increasingly isolated ARL tried to sanction a match against a ‘NZ’ team chosen from domestic club players. In the divided 1997 season he valiantly led Super League’s NSW team to Tri-Series victory and Australia to series wins over NZ and Great Britain. Daley never gave anything short of his best and in the reunited 1998 season, retained the Australian captaincy for the ANZac Test. Australia lost the Test, 22-16, and injury saw him miss the two post-season Tests against NZ. Daley returned to the Australian Test team in the ANZac Day Test in the early part of 1999 (minus the captaincy in what was to be his final match for Australia) but he clearly struggled when his hamstring injury again flared. Following the departure of Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde Raiders’ fans were buoyed by the news that Daley would see out his career with the club. After playing for NSW in three State of Origin matches, injury ruled him out of Australia’s Tri-Nations campaign in October 1999. The then record holder for most first grade games with the Raiders (since surpassed by Jason Croker) Daley reluctantly announced his retirement midway through the 2000 season due to chronic knee problems. Daley joined Fox Sports and won a place on the NSW selection panel. In 2001 the Canberra club unveiled a statue at Bruce Stadium in his honour – a fitting tribute to one of the greats of the modern era. Biography: Always a Winner (2000).
- ALAN WHITICKER
Coaching Career Statistics
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Rugby League Tables, Andrew Ferguson, Shawn Dollin, AJ Lucantonio, Paul Carter, Terry Liberopoulos, Bill Bates, Steven Russo