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The Sydney Roosters have been deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Wally O’Connell.

Player number 280, Wally played 88 top grade games for Easts between 1942-1948 and was a member of the 1945 Eastern Suburbs Premiership-winning team, playing five-eighth. 

Wally made his Test debut upon the conclusion of World War II, selected for the 1948-49 Kangaroo Tour and playing 5 Tests and 16 minor tour games. He also captained the Kangaroos in the First Test against Great Britain in 1948.

He also played 34 games with Manly-Warringah as captain-coach between 1951-52.

In retirement, Wally commenced a media career calling rugby league on local Sydney radio. He also coached Manly-Warringah for a further season from 1966-67.

Wally was awarded the Order of Australia Medal "service to rugby league football, particularly as a player and coach" in 2004, and was also a Life Member of the Sydney Roosters.

The Sydney Roosters extend their heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Wally O’Connell at this sad time.

Funeral details will be advised once they have been confirmed.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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