Born – 3 May 1932
Passed – Away 6 February 2020
One of Australia’s most versatile players, Greg Hawick, passed away in Wagga on 6 February, aged 87. Born in Alexandria, Greg learned his football while a student at the local public school and then Gardeners Road Junior Tech school. While a schoolboy, he represented Sydney schools against South Coast schools in Wollongong. He then captained the South under 16 representative team and played B and A grades with the Alexandria Rovers in the South Sydney junior league competition. He came into grade with South Sydney in 1950 and after just one appearance in reserve grade, he made his first grade debut in round two in the 16-12 loss to Parramatta at the SCG on 10 April. Greg’s first try in the top grade came at Brookvale oval in the 13-10 win over Manly on 19 August 1950. Later that year he was Souths five eighth in the 21-15 win over Wests in the final, which as minor premiers, gave Souths the title without the need of a Grand Final.
Greg could play lock, half, five eighth or centre and he appeared in all these positions during his career. He quickly established himself as a quality player and in a four day period in August 1951, he played for a NSW XIII in the 29-11 win over France at the SCG on 15 August and then for an Australian XIII in the 34-17 win over the Frenchmen in Melbourne on 18 August. He would have won a second Premiership with Souths in 1952, but broke his jaw in the semi final against St. George. At the end of 1952, he was selected on the Kangaroo tour, where he made his Test debut at Leeds on 4 October 1952 at five eighth in the 19-6 loss to Great Britain. Lock was his position in his second Test, which was in the 13-5 loss to France at Lyon on 25 January 1953. Back in Australia, he toured New Zealand with the 1953 Australian team, where he played two of the three Tests.
In 1954, he won his second Premiership with Souths, when the Rabbitohs beat Newtown 23-15 in the Grand Final. Later that year he went to France with Australia’s first ever World Cup team. He was also a member of Australia’s winning 1957 World Cup team, playing in the 25-5 win over New Zealand in Brisbane on 15 June and for Australia in the 20-11 win against the Rest of the World at the SCG on 29 June. The last of Greg’s nine Tests was at the SCG on 19 July 1958, when he scored a try in the 40-17 loss to Great Britain. Including his nine Tests, Greg played 28 matches for Australia.
At the end of the 1956 season. he left South Sydney and joined the Wagga Kangaroos as captain/coach. With Souths he played 81 first grade games, scoring 185 points and then in 1959 and 1960 he played 28 games with North Sydney. Altogether in nine seasons of Sydney first grade football, he played 109 matches and scored 219 points. After signing with North Sydney for the 1958 season, he decided to stay in Wagga and was then disqualified by the NSWRL. However the Equity court ruled that this was a denial of natural justice and so he was able to play in Wagga and represented NSW and Australia that season.
With NSW, Greg played 10 games from 1953 to 1958, eight against Queensland and one each against the USA (1953) and Great Britain (1954). He also represented City firsts in 1955, scoring two tries and kicking five goals in the 31-18 win over Country firsts. With the Wagga Kangaroos, Greg was captain/coach in 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962 and 1963, winning Premierships in 1962 and 1963. Greg coached Turvey Park in Wagga for five seasons (1965, 1966, 1979, 1980, 1981), as well as Junee for one year in 1970. He came back to Sydney as non playing coach of North Sydney in 1984 and 1985, but had some problems with the club in 1985.
In 1990, he was made a Life Member of the South Sydney Rugby League Club and in 2004, was named in the Souths Dream Team. He was selected in the Australian team of the 1950s in 2007 and the South Sydney Juniors Team of the Century in 2008. The Museum of the Riverina admitted him in 2013, as one of their sporting greats.