Gene Miles

Former Queensland rugby league icon

Gene Miles was an Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative centre during the 1980s and 90s. He was particularly skilled in passing, and noted for his ability to off-load the ball with a one-handed basketball style.

He joined Wynnum-Manly in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership in 1980 and was playing in the State of Origin the following year.

Gene was one of seven Queensland-based players to go on the 1982 Kangaroo tour (with a squad later dubbed “The Invincibles”) to Great Britain – the others were Wally Lewis, Rohan Hancock, Mark Murray, Rod Morris, Mal Meninga and Greg Conescu. He made his Test debut the following year.

He returned to the United Kingdom four years later with the 1986 Kangaroo Tour and participated in all six Test matches, against Papua New Guinea, Great Britain and France.

He played in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership before joining the Brisbane Broncos for their maiden season in 1988, playing in their first ever match. He later switched to the forwards and soon adapted to become one of the country’s finest second rowers, playing his final game for Australia against the Rest of The World in 1988 at the Sydney Football Stadium.

In 1989 Gene Miles was part of the Queensland State of Origin team’s 3-0 clean sweep of New South Wales, playing all three games in the second-row. He was chosen to tour New Zealand with the Australian squad in 1989 but was forced to pull out with a broken hand. The following year, he announced his retirement from representative football so he could concentrate on his job as captain of the fledgling Brisbane club, helping the Broncos to the play-offs for the first time in 1990. He won the ‘Dally M’ Captain of the Year award in 1990.

After 72 first grade games for the Broncos, 14 Tests for Australia (including two Kangaroo tours) and 19 State of Origin matches for Queensland, Gene Miles accepted a contract offer from Wigan, making his debut in October 1991. He played 29 matches for Wigan as they won a treble of Championship, Challenge Cup and Premiership.

He returned to Australia to pursue a media career with Channel Nine and in 2000, was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to Australia’s international standing in the sport of rugby league. In 2001 Gene Miles was appointed Chairman of Selectors for the Queensland State of Origin. He is currently the Executive Chairman of the non-profit organisation Former Origin Greats (FOGS).

During the 2007 season at the Broncos’ 20-year anniversary celebration, the club announced a list of the 20 best players to play for them to date which included Miles.

In February 2008, Gene Miles was named in the list of Australia’s 100 Greatest Players (1908-2007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code’s centenary year in Australia. In June 2008, he was chosen as a member of the Queensland Rugby League’s Team of the Century.

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