Graeme Langlands joined by old teammates
Two old rugby league teammates of Graeme Langlands joined Barry Ross in spending time with him at his Sutherland nursing home of Monday 4 September. Charlie Kentwell and Lionel Simmons made the drive up from the Wollongong area to visit their good friend.
A clever winger, Charlie, now 79, is a legend of Illawarra rugby league and played 214 first grade games with Port Kembla, scoring 219 tries. He was also a member of four Illawarra Grand Final winning teams in 1958, 1962, 1963 and 1965. Altogether, Charlie played 37 representative games, including four for NSW Country Firsts from 1960 to 1963 and Country Seconds in 1959. He played for Southern Division against Great Britain in 1958, against New Zealand in 1959 and against France in 1957, 1960 and 1964. Over the years, he had numerous offers to play with a Sydney club but continued to play with Port Kembla. Charlie was a teammate of Graeme’s in the Country Firsts team which defeated City Firsts 18-8 at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 12 May 1962.
Lionel Simmons was a classy centre who played with Graeme at St. George in 1964 and represented Country Firsts in 1966 and 1970, as well as Country Seconds in 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1969. He toured New Zealand twice with NSW Country, captaining the team in 1970. In the 1966 City-Country Firsts match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 4 June, Lionel and Graeme were opposing centres. With the Dapto club, Lionel played 160 first grade games and was captain/coach from 1967 to 1970.
He also was a member of three Dapto Illawarra first grade Grand Final winning teams in 1966, 1968 and 1975.
He played two seasons with the Queanbeyan club in 1971/72 as captain/coach and in 1974 captain/coached the Jamberoo team to the South Coast Group 7 Premiership. Now 74, Lionel represented Southern Division against Great Britain twice and New Zealand once. During his career, Lionel captained two NSW Country Divisions, Illawarra from 1968 to 1970 and Monaro in 1971.
By Barry Ross