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Tony Shaw
, 2018

by Sarah Rhodes

gelatin silver photograph (frame: 102.5 cm x 111.5 cm depth 6.0 cm, sheet: 80.0 cm x 99.0 cm)

Tony Shaw (b. 1953), rugby union footballer, made his debut for Queensland in 1973 and went on to play 112 games for his state team. At the end of his first season he made his debut for the Wallabies, the youngest player selected for the tour of England and Wales. Renowned for his uncompromising approach to the game, Shaw soon became a member of Queensland’s ‘holy trinity’ with Mark Loane and Paul McLean. He played 36 internationals with the Wallabies, captaining the team in fifteen tests. Famously, in New Zealand in 1978, when coach Daryl Haberecht was ailing, Shaw and senior teammates engineered what was then the greatest ever defeat of the All Blacks, spurring the Wallabies to a 30-16 victory in the third test. In 1980, he led the Wallabies to win the Bledisloe Cup series against the All Blacks (which has rarely happened since 1931). His Wallabies career ended against Scotland in 1982. Inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame and named an Australian Rugby Union Classic Wallaby Statesman in 2012, Shaw was president of the Queensland Rugby Union (the ‘Reds’) from 2010 until he stepped down in 2015. He is the current president of Rugby Australia.

Sarah Rhodes, four times a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, was commissioned to photograph Shaw as the fourth in a series of five portraits of rugby greats funded by Patrick Corrigan AM. He is pictured in the doorway of his Brisbane home.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds from the Patrick Corrigan Portrait Commission Series 2018
Accession number: 2018.16