Michael Anthony Ellem
- 591Wallaby Number
Mick Ellem was a dashing fullback from the Western Suburbs club in Sydney during the mid-to-late 1970s. Born in Sydney, Ellem was educated at De La Salle Boys College, Ashfield and Drummoyne Boys’ High School. Ellem enjoyed his first taste of representative rugby in 1975 when he debuted for New South Wales against Wellington. Ellem was the fourth Sydney fullback alongside Arthur McGill, Laurie Monaghan and Jim Hindmarsh to be selected for either Sydney, New South Wales or Australia.
Ellem was retained for the interstate clash with Queensland six days later however the need for a goal kicker in the upcoming Tests against Japan saw Queensland’s Paul McLean moved to No.15 due to the white hot form of New South Wales fly half Ken Wright. Then, despite his position as the incumbent NSW fullback, Ellem was somehow displaced by NSW Country’s Mike Fitzgerald for a spot on the Seventh Wallabies tour to Britain.
When Fiji toured in 1976 Ellem came off the bench for New South Wales, scored 10 points and in general had an enterprising game. That performance thrust Ellem into the mix for national selection and he won his first cap in the final Sydney Test.
In 1978 Ellem played for Sydney when they edged Five Nations and Grand Slam champions Wales 18-16 at the Sydney Sports Ground however he was overlooked by New South Wales selectors in favour of Merriwa’s Ed Shannon and the opportunity for a second Test cap was lost.
Ellem won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Geoff Shaw at inside centre and switched with Jim Hindmarsh to fullback in the 3rd Test, 27-17 victory over Fiji at the S.C.G.