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By ARU Media Unit
Pre-World War II Wallaby scrum half and former NSW Rugby President, Francis Wallace Meagher, was today announced as the first inductee to the Wallaby Hall of Fame for 2012.
Each year an eight-man Wallaby Hall of Fame Committee selects three former Wallabies for entry to the Hall of Fame. One must have played before World War II and two during the post-war period
Known as a talented and courageous scrum-half, Meagher played eight Tests for the Wallabies between 1923 and 1927 and represented Australia a further 21 times in non-capped matches.
Meagher’s first Test came in September 1923 against the All Blacks in Wellington and was the first of two tours across the Tasman for the talented scrum-half, the second in 1925.
During his eight Test career Meagher earned the respect and admiration of team mates for his determination and toughness playing behind well beaten Wallabies forward packs.
Born in Sydney in 1903 and schooled at Waverly College, Meagher played 100 first grade games for Randwick at scrum-half and fly half between 1923 and 1930.
Meagher is credited by many as the man who gave Randwick Rugby club its soul.
He was club and first grade coach from 1931 to 1953 guiding the club to four first grade premierships and eight minor premierships.
During his 21 seasons at the helm from 1933 - when a system of semi-finals was introduced - until 1953, Randwick missed the semi-finals in first grade on only six occasions.
Meagher is one of just three Randwick men to lay claim to having played for Australia, played in a premiership winning side, and then coached a premiership winning team.
Bob Outterside and Jeff Sayle are the other two.
During his coaching tenure Meagher employed a similar ‘running-Rugby’ style of play to that implemented by his former Wallaby captain A.C. Johnny Wallace during their tour to Great Britain in 1927-28.
It was this style of Rugby that saw Randwick virtually eliminate kicking with a strong emphasis on continuous running, passing and backing up earning them the nickname of the ‘Flying Greens’ in the 1930s and 1940s.
This nickname soon changes during the 1960s to the ‘Galloping Greens’ and has stuck with the club ever since.
In 1937 Meagher was made a life member of the Club.
In retirement Wally Meagher was a regular NSW selector and was President of the NSW Rugby Union.
He was honoured by the Randwick Municipal Council when they named Meagher Avenue after him.
After he stepped down as coach in 1953 Meagher was elected president of the Randwick Football Club, and held the position until he passed away in 1966.
Meagher is the is the 24th inductee to the Wallaby Hall of Fame.
The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees were Herbert ‘Paddy’ Moran, John Eales and Paul McLean.