Ronald James Lisle
- 459Wallaby Number
Jimmy Lisle was a scintillating fly half / inside centre who became a dual rugby international. Possessing nimble footwork, he could thread his way through the tightest defence and had the speed to keep pace with the flyers on his outside. He was also a robust defender, well able to stand up to the rigours of both rugby codes in the 1960s.
Born in Grafton, Lisle was a champion schoolboy athlete at Grafton High School. After leaving school, he moved to Sydney, entered the Sydney Teachers’ College and joined the Drummoyne Club.
Lisle played his first senior representative rugby in 1960 when he debuted for New South Wales against Queensland.
When Fiji toured in 1961, Lisle played for New South Wales at inside centre with Dowse at five-eighth and Mike Cleary, the Australian sprint champion, on the wing. Lisle was instrumental in setting Cleary up for three tries in a narrow 17-13 win. That performance earned him a Test debut in Brisbane where he scored the game’s first try.
Following his brilliant displays against Fiji, Lisle was named in his first Wallaby tour, to South Africa. Unfortunately Lisle suffered a hamstring injury early in the first Test at Ellis Park and could only limp helplessly about as John Gainsford, Mannetjie Roux, Hennie van Zyl and Jannie Engelbrecht carved the Australians to pieces. Unfortunately that was Lisle’s final match for the Wallabies as he switched codes to play rugby league with South Sydney.
He became a dual international in 1962 when selected to play for the Kangaroos in the 3rd Test against Great Britain at the S.C.G.
Lisle won his first Test cap at outside centre in combination with Harry Roberts in the 1st Test, 24-6 victory over Fiji in Brisbane. He scored his first Test try in that match to become the 37th Wallaby to score a try on debut. He partnered Beres Ellwood in each of the final two Tests of that series. Lisle and Ellwood were paired in the centres for the 1st Test, 3-28 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park.