Queensland Sport Hall of Fame

Mr Eddie Bonis

Eddie Bonis was a long-serving Queensland and Australian rugby union hooker who had a profound impact on and off the field. And yet he very nearly escaped the game’s clutches.

With rugby in abeyance in Queensland in the 1920's, Bonis showed promise
as a schoolboy rugby league player and in 1928 played A-Grade for the Carltons club.

But when rugby resumed in 1929 he switched codes and joined the YMCA club. In his first season he played a key role in Australia’s first and only 3-0 series clean sweep against the touring All Blacks.

For seven years he was Australia’s first-choice hooker, playing 20 consecutive Tests, and from 1933 he was known as ‘The Prince of Hookers’ after an epic performance on the Wallabies’ first tour of South Africa.

His 21 Test matches from 1929-38 stood as an Australian record until it was surpassed by Nick Shehadie in the 1950s.

He also played 43 times for Queensland over 16 years, enjoying the proudest of moments when he led his State to a 19-14 win over NSW in the first interstate match after World War Two.

Also a State water polo and swimming representative and an acclaimed sailor, he later served as a Queensland and Australian rugby selector through until the late 50’s.

A rugby pioneer and now a member of the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame.

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