NRL Player Profile
Gorden Tallis is known by the nickname, ‘Raging Bull,’ due to his on-field aggression.
He played NRL in the early 1990s and 2000s – boasting an array of achievements, including:
- Queensland State of Origin Representative/Captain
- Australia International Representative/Captain
- Brisbane Broncos Captain
- 1997, 1998 and 2000 Grand Final Winner with the Brisbane Broncos
- Named in Indigenous Australian Rugby League Team of the Century
- Australian Sports Medalist
After beginning his career with the St. George Illawarra Dragons in Sydney, he made the ultimate move – and crossed over to the other side, Queensland.
At the peak of his career with the Broncos, he was considered the best second-row forward in the world.
Now, he is a commentator and pundit for Fox Sports, as well as serving on the NRL Board, and sitting on the Board of Directors for the North Queensland Cowboys.
Gorden Tallis also worked on the coaching staff of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Gorden Tallis is of Torres Strait Islander heritage – and Vanuatuan descent. Tallis’ father, Wally, played league, albeit briefly, for Leigh in the 1960’s.
Gorden Tallis was then born in Townsville, North Queensland, on 27 July, 1973. He played for the Centrals Tigers there.
Gorden Tallis – Professional Playing Career
St George Illawarra Dragons
Gorden Tallis packed his bags for enemy soil, moving to Sydney to make his first grade debut in the Winfield Cup Premiership, for St George in 1992.
He was only 19.
Tallis then spent his next two years there, as a ressie in St George’s 1993 Grand Final loss to Brisbane, and spent 1994 essentially on the interchange bench.
NSW lost their prime, undervalued player – as Gorden Talils made his representative debut for the Queensland side in the final two State of Origin Series games that year.
In 1995, he was then included in the Tongan squad for the World Cup, but had to pull out due to injury.
When the proposed Super League comp was placed on hold indefinitely in 1995, Gorden Tallis offered to buy out his final year of contract with the Sydney outfit, to join the Broncos.
However, he was forcibly restrained to the site, and subsequent court action held him even further to his contract.
Gorden Tallis already had a Super League contract to play on the Brissy side, and made waves as a fiery North Queenslander when he was the only player who chose to sit out during the ’96 season than play a final year with St George.
After his 54 appearances for the Dragons, he left Sydney.
Back on home soil, Tallis returned a victor, and absolutely relished the Queensland Turf.
He was the most dominant forward in the side, during the 1997 Super League Season, which culminated to Brissy’s absolute crushing of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the Telstra Cup Grand Final (26-8).
As well as representing Queensland in the Super League Tri-Series competition, Gorden Tallis also made his International Debut in the 1997 post season Super League Test series completion.
Return to St. George Illawarra Dragons
For the first time since the acrimonious split with the Dragons, Gorden Tallis returned with the strong Queensland outfit, in 1998.
There, he was pelted with both garbage and insults, as well las being booed every time he touched the ball.
The Sydney fans no match for Gorden Tallis’ sheer talent, as he went on to secure a 30-18 victory.
Brisbane Premiership and Clive Churchill Medal
From then on, Brisbane dominated the NRL scene, and went on to snag another Premiership victory with Gorden Tallis scoring a try – and also winning the Clive Churchill Medal, in the Club’s 38-12 1998 NRL Grand Final win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
From there, Gorden Tallis was everywhere and anywhere – making his Australian Kangaroos Test debut in Trans-Tasman Series, and gaining selection in the ANZAC Test in 1999.
He also spearheaded QLD’s State of Origin Campaign in a tied series.
Tallis also crossed the white line during a 2000 match up in the ANZAC test, which saw the Aussies go on to thrash 52-0.
From there, he headed back into the State of Origin, but was sent off for verbally abusing referee Bill Hartigan.
After this, Gorden Tallis truly cemented his stature as the most dominant forward in the game, taking home his final Grand Final against the Roosters in 2000 (14-6).
He also scored four tried in Australia’s absolute pummelling of Papua New Guinea (82-0) before the 2000 World Cup.
This resulted in his selection as Australian Captain for the match against Russia, which resulted in a record 110-4 victory.
Tallis also received the Australian Sports Medal, following the World Cup Victory.