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Off the Wall
The death last week of Cyril Connell, Junior, has rightly focussed some attention on the work of the unsung heroes of the game today - the talent scouts employed by the NRL clubs.
Cyril Connell taught me at Brisbane State High School where he was Deputy Principal before moving on to a distinguished career in senior administration in the Queensland Education Department.
He played for Australia against New Zealand in 1956, and played 14 non-test matches (including a number as captain) on the 1956-57 Kangaroos tour of the UK. He represented Queensland against NSW 25 times between 1952 and 1957. His father, Cyril Connell, Senior, also played for Queensland and served for something like a quarter of a century as Registrar of the University of Queensland.
Cyril, Junior, also coached with success at Brisbane Souths Club but it was his association with the Brisbane Broncos that was to be his greatest contribution to the greatest game of all. He was also a rugby league commentator on the ABC for many years.
The founding Chairman of the Broncos was Paul Morgan - who was Captain of Brisbane State High School when Cyril Connell was Deputy Principal.
When he retired from the Education Department he was recruited by the Broncos as the new club