When you think of New South Wales, the name Tommy Raudonikis almost always springs to mind. It’s hard to find anyone with so much passion for the Blues, as well as a fuelled hatred for Queensland as much as Raudonikis, who represented NSW primarily in the 1970’s. He has 22 games under his belt for the Blues, but 21 of them were before State of Origin officially began in 1980.
His Moment: For someone who played so many games for NSW, you would think his moment would come off the field, but that is not the case with Tommy Raudonikis. He coached the Blues in 1997-98 to three wins from six games, but again, his record was not what he is known for. He introduced the call “Cattledog” to the players, and once the call was made an all-in brawl would spark. The Cattledog call entered Origin folklore.
His Career: Raudonikis played most of his career at halfback for the Western Suburbs Magpies, before moving to Newtown for three years in 1980. Altogether, he played 239 first grade games, and 20 games for Australia along with his NSW record. He then moved on to coaching his beloved Magpies for 114 games alongside his two Origin series’.
Where Is He Now: Raudonikis has appeared in the media since retiring, including a commentary role for the Continuous Call Team with Ray Hadley on 2GB, and appearing on Channel Nine. He also appeared in the Australia Rugby League 2007 film, The Final Winter. In February 2008, he was named in a list of Australia’s 100 Greatest Rugby League players, and was inducted into the Western Suburbs Hall of Fame in the same year.
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