Elton Flatley’s name was on every Australian Rugby fan’s lips when, on November 22, 2003, in front of a capacity crowd of 82,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 120 million, he not once but twice landed angled penalty goals to keep alive the Wallabie’s hopes of back to back world cup victories.
Elton Flatley was vice captain and the Wallabies were playing England in the Rugby World Cup final in Sydney. In terms of pressure kicks, they don’t come much tougher: penalties a minute before the end of normal time and two minutes before the end of extra time. And, while the fairytale finish was not forthcoming, Flatley’s compose under intense pressure, became the defining moment in a distinguished career spanning more than ten seasons.
Elton Flatley retired from the game in 2006, after suffering problems with concussion, but not before placing 39 test matches for his county, and 112 matches for the Reds at Super 12/14 level.
Flatley holds a number of curious records – not the least of which is for the fastest try in Rugby World Cup history – 18 seconds after kick off in the Wallabies pool match against Romania in October, 2003.
The following year, he became the youngest player to reach 100 caps for Queensland when he led the team out against the Sharks in Durban.
Since retiring, Flatley has transitioned into the Financial industry, recently commencing work with Westpac and BT Financial Group in Brisbane while completing his Diploma in Financial studies.
He remains a passionate rugby observer, and actively involved in the game through his television commentary, and his ambassador role with the ARU.