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Mark Ella AM

b. 1959

Mark Ella AM (b. 1959) was one of four Australians named amongst the eleven inaugural ‘legends’ of the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2013. From a family of twelve children, Mark, his twin Glen and their brother Gary began playing rugby at Matraville High School. All three represented the Australian Schoolboys in 1976, and played for the side in Britain in 1977/78. From 1979, Mark Ella was five-eighth for Randwick, playing in eight Grand Finals; he played 23 games for NSW. He made his Test debut in 1980 as part of the Bledisloe Cup-winning side. In all, he played 26 Tests for Australia, captaining the side in ten. In 1983 he was voted Young Australian of the Year. In 1984, he scored a try in all four victorious Test matches against the UK and Ireland. Ella retired from rugby that year. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame three years later. In 2013, he was elected one of the four original Australian Rugby Invincibles (two of the others, David Campese and Ken Catchpole, are already represented in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery). His communications company, Horton Ella, has run marketing strategies for the Bundaberg Rum Company, naming rights sponsor of the Australian Rugby Union. He is now the executive producer of NITV Sport at SBS Australia and writes a sports column for the Australian newspaper. In 2014 he was appointed Chairman of the new NSW and ACT Indigenous Cricket Advisory Committee, formed to encourage Indigenous communities’ participation in cricket.

Updated 2018