Greg Veivers

A former Brisbane Souths front rower, Greg Veivers can be considered a Queensland legend from the days before State of Origin.
An apprentice butcher from Beaudesert, Greg made his interstate debut aged just 20 and went on to play 19 games for the Maroons during the 1970s, as well as representing Australia at the Rugby League World Cup, before injury forced him into retirement.
A foundation member of the Men of League's Queensland committee, Greg has established his own successful business outside of the game and still enjoys watching the Maroons dominate their interstate rivals.
What did you do for work when you retired from the game? What advice do you have for other players leaving the game?
I commenced an insurance business whilst playing in 1971 and maintained it to now. Like most players in my time everyone worked or studied toward a career in the workforce.
Today it is totally different and in my view back to front: sport first, work second. Everyone should be in work and clubs should work around their employment. Life is a journey and sport is a mere blip along the way
The best advice I can give a young player is early in your career look to find a suitable career path outside football. It is often too late to choose a path you desire once you retire
What is your favourite moment from facing NSW in the days before Origin?
To be selected for Queensland is such an honour and the support of the public behind you in this state is amazing, even though during my time we weren't as successful as we would have liked. The challenge to take on the world's best was super and a gauge on your own abilities.
Qld coach Barry Muir should be given a mention for his contribution. I think the change commenced under Barry, whose belief and enthusiasm to succeed was evident with the number of players from Qld selected to play for Australia in the ‘70s.
What do you make of Queensland's recent Origin dominance?
It has been a bit like college football; you get a run of really good players and once they leave, it’s normally a rebuild and the other side takes over.
But Mal Meninga and his quality staff have excelled in merging young blood over time, thus allowing for this continuance in dominance and averting the norm.
What did it mean to you to play for Australia?
The ultimate dream come true.
Who is the best player you played with?
In my era I don't believe Wally Lewis had a peer – but the best I've seen? Arthur Beetson was the best forward.
Who was your toughest opponent?
They are all tough at that level.
Can you compare the game now to how it was when you played and which current players do you rate highly?
The games of yesterday and today are just as tough as each other but it has changed – it is much cleaner, more explosive and faster. It’s a great spectacle but still needs change to improve it.
I'd like to trial six meters in the ruck and a maximum of two in a tackle. This would rid the ugly wrestling in tackles and I'm sure it would create more ball movement within forwards.
Also, have selected players in their positions for scrums and make it a contest like it should be. Rugby union can manage, why can't we?
Of the current players I think Cameron Smith is a superstar; how he controls a game is not unlike a conductor with an orchestra. Johnathon Thurston, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis are also special players, as are Sam Burgess, Paul Gallen and Greg Bird.
What do you like to do with your spare time now?
I've been on the Qld Board of Men of League since inception, which has been very rewarding. I also enjoy gardening every chance I get and the grandchildren now make life really enjoyable – I have six interesting little people at the moment

SHARE Facebook Link Twitter Link Print The Page
Facebook Link Instagram Link Twitter Link