FLASHBACK: February, 1960

FEBRUARY 1960
Cashed up Sydney rugby league club officials headed straight for Queenslanders, Gary Parcell and Elton Rasmussen when the Kangaroo touring party returned to Australia after five months touring Britain, France and Italy.
The poker machine backed Sydney clubs also had their sights set on New South Wales Country players, Ian Walsh (Eugowra), Darrell Chapman (Kempsey) and Brian Hambly (Wagga Wagga).
Australian Rugby League Board of Control contracts stipulated that players, on their return from a Kangaroo tour, must play at least one more season for the club from which they were chosen.
That seemingly water tight condition was no barrier to the Sydney clubs, who had ways of circumventing the rules.
Parcell was chosen from Ipswich Brothers and gave every indication he would stay put, particularly as he had a farm at Harrisville, near Ipswich.
Rasmussen, a North Queenslander, who had been playing for All Whites in Toowoomba, said he ‘might’ remain on the Downs.
Australian team manager, Ern Keefer, said coach, Clive Churchill had done a tremendous job on tour, even though Australia lost the Test series 2-1 against favorites Great Britain. Australia won all three Tests against France, and both matches against Italy, which were not granted Test status.
“It was a very happy tour, with no signs of discord,” Keefer said.
Keefer said the Third Test attendance – against Britain – was down on the previous Test gates, and he put that down to live coverage on BBC Television. His input was believed to have had a bearing on the Queensland Rugby League’s decision to deny television stations the right to cover inter-state matches and state selection trials in 1960.
The Rugby League announced it would go ahead with the construction of a 5,000 capacity grandstand at Lang Park.
Queensland utility star, Paul Pyers, signed a contract with Parramatta, but his Mackay club was reluctant to grant him a clearance.
Wynnum-Manly appointed former Sydney Easts’ first grader, Laurie Coleman as coach for the 1960 Brisbane season.
1 Paul Pyers
2 Elton Rasmussen (left) watches France’s Jean-Pierre Clar tackle Bob Fulton in Sydney in 1968.

3 Gary Parcell

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