Lawton inducted into IRB Hall of Fame

(IRB.COM) Saturday 7 June 2014
 
 Lawton inducted into IRB Hall of Fame
Thomas Lawton Jnr (right) receives the Hall of Fame cap and pin, on behalf of his late grandfather, from IRB Council Member Michael Hawker

Australia great Thomas Lawton has been inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, becoming the 68th individual to be added to this prestigious group.

At a special presentation ahead of the Australia v France match in Brisbane on Saturday, Thomas Lawton Jnr received the coveted cap and pin on behalf of his late grandfather from IRB Council Member and Australian Rugby Union Chairman Michael Hawker.

Lawton was a true great of the game. A natural fly half and captain, he was an accomplished ball-handler and his kicking, both tactical and at goal, was regarded as masterful.

His representative career lasted nearly 14 years, during which time he played for his native Queensland, New South Wales, Oxford University, the Barbarians and Australia.

He played in 33 of the 35 matches on the 1927 tour, scoring an Australian record of 124 points. He also led Australia in the 1929 Bledisloe Cup campaign, winning all three Tests against New Zealand, which was a first for any Australia team against the All Blacks. He also captained Australia against the 1930 British and Irish Lions leading his team to a 6-5 victory.

Lawton Jnr said: “Tom loved the opportunities Rugby afforded him. He instilled that love of the Game in us. It became our destiny to follow his lead. His very special achievements are shared and held close by our whole family. 

"Tom was a very private man, who even in his later years affected by Parkinson’s, maintained a strength of character and dignity.

“He would be horrified by the fuss being made around his achievements. But for the Lawton family it’s an opportunity to reflect again on the legacy he left us. While I know he is always part of our clan, we are enormously proud that Tom is now globally recognised as one of the great number 10s to play. What a wonderful recognition.”

Each year, the IRB Hall of Fame honours some of the greatest ever players to have graced the rugby field as well as recognising those who have tirelessly contributed to growing the game over their lifetime.

Last year, the IRB inducted 11 rugby greats into the Hall of Fame who have demonstrated extraordinary levels of character, talent and ability, individuals who were pioneers of their time.