Dual Code International football player
Wendell Sailor is an exceptional sportsman who is revered as one of Australia’s best dual code rugby football players and one of rugby league’s greatest wingers of all time.
During his rugby league career, Wendell Sailor played 19 Tests for Australia, five of which were in Super League, and 17 State of Origin matches for Queensland, three of them Super League.
During his time in rugby union, Wendell played 37 Tests for the Wallabies, including the 2003 World Cup final.
A charismatic sportsman and an articulate speaker, Wendell Sailor inspires and entertains audiences with anecdotes of the challenges he has overcome and his unique playing experiences. A natural public speaker, he has commentated NRL games for television and regularly speaks at charity and community occasions as well as corporate seminars, product launches and awards events.
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Wendell Sailor’s large frame and bullocking style changed the way wingers played rugby league in the late nineties. His big-money move from the Brisbane Broncos to the Queensland Reds in 2001 created many headlines, as did his move at the end of the 2005 Super 12 season to the New South Wales Waratahs. He has often attracted public attention during his career, none more so than in 2006 after he was found to have used cocaine before a football match. This put an end to his rugby union career as he received a two year suspension from all forms of professional sport.
In carrying out his ban, Wendell was heavily involved in charity work and alcohol and drug awareness programs with young people in an attempt to make amends for his actions. He successfully returned to rugby league in May 2008 with NRL club St George Illawarra Dragons once his ban expired. Wendell played 33 games for the club, taking his first grade tally to 222 matches since debuting for Brisbane 16 years ago.
Wendell Sailor announced his intended retirement from rugby league in 2009 – but not before agreeing to play one final game in February 2010 as a member of the 20 strong Indigenous All Stars against an NRL All Stars side at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. Almost 20,000 rugby league fans voted for the indigenous side which includes eight players with State of Origin experience.
Dragons coach Wayne Bennett, who was in charge for most of Sailor’s career with Brisbane and St George Illawarra, said Wendell will be remembered for his ”charisma, professionalism and playing ability”.
Since retiring from rugby, Wendell has appeared on the television series Dancing with the Stars and commentated NRL for Channel Nine. He is in high demand as a guest and regular presenter for several television programs and continues to work with the Dragons in a promotional capacity. Wendell Sailor was offered a role within the NRL’s One Community program.
Wendell was received exceptionally well by the audiences, he was exceptional in his delivery and interaction with the carious audiences