Laurence Edward Monaghan
- 567Wallaby Number
Laurie Monaghan made an outstanding contribution to the development of Australian backline-play. An assiduous trainer, who was always fastidious in his preparation, Monaghan was so thoroughly versatile that while he preferred fullback 10 of his 17 caps came on the wing. His play was a wonderful combination of exciting ball-running skills, particularly in counter-attack, intelligent defensive strategies and a wonderful all-round kicking game.
Monaghan began his rugby club career with Western Suburbs and it soon became very apparent that the refined kicking skills he had acquired as a youngster during a short time as schoolboy in Victoria plus his natural running ability augured well for a successful career at fullback.
In 1971, and before Monaghan had represented Sydney or New South Wales, he toured with the Wallabies to France and North America.
The following year he debuted for Sydney against The Rest and a couple of weeks later for New South Wales against Queensland. He did not tour New Zealand in 1972 but found himself on a short sojourn to the U.K. a year later from where he made a Test debut against England. Like many of his peers the Sixth Wallaby tour of 1975-76 was the pinnacle. Monaghan played in all but four of the 26 games and started on the wing in all five internationals.
In 1978 Monaghan enjoyed two career highlights in a three week period of the Wales tour to Australia. In the match against Sydney, the home side was ‘pounding’ the Welsh tryline with about two minutes left on the clock. Welsh winger Gareth Evans attempted a clearing kick however it was mis-timed. Monaghan took a ‘superb catch’ literally on the sideline. With the crowd screaming, ‘Goal Laurie, goal’, he dropped a ‘monumental’ field goal from 40 metres out and Sydney won 18-16. In the second Test he was at it again. Another booming 40 metre dropped goal proved decisive at the final siren as Australia defeated the champions of Europe 19-17.
Laurie Monaghan played 17 Tests for Australia in a seven-year international career.
Monaghan won his first Test cap on the right wing in the 3-20 loss to England at Twickenham.
Monaghan started at fullback in all three Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand. He scored his first Test try in the 16-16, second Test draw at Ballymore.
He played on the right wing in both home Test victories over England.
Monaghan played all five Tests of the Sixth Wallabies tour on the right wing with Paul McLean at fullback for the four Home Nations internationals and Jim Hindmarsh wearing No.15 against the U.S.A.
Monaghan was overlooked for the three Tests at home against Fiji but toured to France and Italy at the end of the year where he won a single cap on the left wing in the 1st Test, 15-18 loss to Les Bleus.
The Wallabies did not play a Test match in 1977.
Monaghan earned caps in the two home Tests against Wales. He toured to New Zealand and was retained at fullback for the first Test before a shattered left collarbone in the mid-week match against Mid-Canterbury kept him out of the final two internationals, including the record 30-16, 3rd Test victory at Eden Park.
In his final season of international rugby Monaghan played both Tests against Ireland, the first on the wing and the second at No.15.