12th February 2019, 17:47 | rfl

Austin Rhodes

Austin Rhodes

We are saddened to learn the passing of former Leigh Centurions, St Helens, Swinton and Great Britain player Austin Rhodes, at the age of 81.

A hugely gifted goal-kicking fullback or halfback, Austin made his Saints debut in 1955 and amassed over 300pts in his first full season, later switching from scrumhalf to stand-off to accommodate the prodigious teenaged talent of Murphy.

Austin was a key member of the Saints side that lifted the Challenge Cup for the first time in the club’s history in 1956 after their 13-2 victory over Halifax at Wembley, kicking two goals.

And he earned his second cup-winner’s medal after playing a key role from fullback in the 12-6 win over Wigan at Wembley in 1961, kicking three goals and making a brilliant cover tackle to save a seemingly certain Billy Boston try.

A member of Great Britain’s 1957 and 1960 World Cup squads, the latter squad winning the competition, he also played for Lancashire.

Austin was fullback as Great Britain defeated Australia 10-3 at Odsal in the deciding match of that 1960 tournament, kicking two goals in the first half as tries by Boston and Mick Sullivan gave the home side a cushion against a Kangaroos fightback in the second half of a fiercely hard fought and often vicious encounter.

We would like to pass on our condolences to Austin's family and friends at this difficult time.

With thanks to Leigh Centurions and Mike Latham