Glen Joseph Ella

  • 4Caps
  • 621Wallaby Number
  • 62Age
PositionFullback
Date Of Birth4 June 1959
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolMatraville High School
Debut ClubRandwick
Other ClubsManly
ProvinceNSW
Debut Test Match1982 Wallabies v Scotland, 1st Test Brisbane
Final Test Match1985 Wallabies v Fiji, 2nd Test Sydney

Biography

Glen Ella, like his two brothers, was a schoolboy prodigy whose natural attacking flair was simply a joy to watch. He had sublime handling skills and a free running style from defensive positions that make only the most gifted of fullbacks so effective as attacking weapons. His ability to link, particularly with his brothers, created havoc among opposition defences. While nothing appear to phase Ella beneath his veneer of apparent indifference simmered a deep determination coupled with intrinsic talent.

Born in Sydney and educated at Matraville High School, Ella was a member of the undefeated 1977/78 ‘Invincibles’ Australian Schools side. It is arguable that there has never been a better schoolboys backline than the one Australia fielded against Wales on that tour - 9. Dominic Vaughan; 10. Mark Ella; 11. Michael O’Connor; 12. Tony Melrose; 13. Gary Ella; 14. Michael Hawker; and 15. Glen Ella.

Upon his return Glen and his brothers joined Randwick where they ran riot week in, week out in the Shute Shield competition. His first taste of senior representative rugby came in 1980, for Sydney against Victoria, and a few months later for New South Wales against New Zealand. At that time Ella sat third in the fullback pecking order behind Roger Gould and Geoff Richards however his performance for Sydney against Scotland in 1982 earned him a Test debut at Ballymore alongside his brother Mark.

The selections did not sit well with the locals given that new national coach Bob Dwyer had dropped two of Queensland’s all-time favourites, Gould and Paul McLean, in order to accommodate the two Ellas. It was a sad and shameful day indeed that Glen was booed by sections of the hostile Brisbane crowd. Australia lost 7-12 and both Gould and McLean were reinstated for the second Test.

Later that year Glen toured New Zealand however it was Gould who started in all three Tests. In a great disappointment Glen was not selected for the 1984 ‘Grand Slam’ tour but he returned to New Zealand again in 1986 and was honoured with the captaincy in the uncapped match against Wanganui.

Glen Ella played four Tests for Australia in a four-year international career.

Highlights

1977/78

Represented Australian Schools against Ireland Schools, Wales Schools, England Schools and Dutch Youth.

1979

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1980

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1981

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1982

Ella won his first Test cap at fullback in the 7-12 1st Test loss to Scotland in Brisbane. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1983

Ella earned a single cap as the starting No.15 in the 29-7 defeat of Italy in Rovigo. Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1984

Represented Australia at the Hong Kong 7s.

1985

Ella picked up his final two caps, the first off the bench when he replaced Nigel Kassulke at outside centre in the 2nd Test, 43-15 victory over Canada at Ballymore, and the second at fullback in the 2nd Test, 31-9 win over Fiji at the S.C.G.

Glen Joseph Ella