True Blues Ricky Stuart and Glenn Lazarus, former NSW Women’s captain Ruan Sims, and five Rugby League administrators are among 1,190 Australians recognised today in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List.
Stuart was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
Lazarus, Sims, former Newtown President Barry Vining, Barry Costa (Brothers Penrith), Peter Cox (Woden Valley Rams), Brian Gee (St Edwards) and Christopher Mahony were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service worthy of particular recognition.
“The Queen’s Birthday Honours List are recognition of the great work being done by all Australians,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.
“I’m pleased to see the work being done by people in Rugby League has also been acknowledged and the recipients represent come from both the highest form of the game and the grassroots.
“I congratulate them on their well-deserved awards and thank them for the contributions they continue to make to our game.”
Stuart has enjoyed a distinguished career as both as a player and coach. He won three premierships as halfback at the Canberra Raiders and coached the Sydney Roosters to a premiership during his first season as an NRL coach in 2002.
He represented NSW on 14 occasions and was part of the team which won three consecutive series for the first time in 1992-1994 and also coached the Blues to a series win in 2005.
Stuart also played nine Tests for Australia, coached the Kangaroos for three seasons including the 2008 World Cup and founded the Ricky Stuart Foundation which aims to raise support for autism and assists with the provision of carers and support for their families.
Lazarus, who was inducted into the NSWRL The Star Hall of Fame last month, is the only player in the history of the game to have won three premierships at three different clubs (Canberra Raiders 1990; Brisbane Broncos 1992-93; Melbourne Storm 1999).
He represented NSW on 19 occasions and was also part of the team which won three consecutive series in 1992-94 and played 21 Tests for Australia.
Sims, the older sister of NRL players Tariq, Korbin and Ashton Sims, has helped raise the profile of Women’s Rugby League. She played five games for NSW and represented Australia on 12 occasions including at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups which were both won by the Jillaroos.
Sims, who retired at the end of 2019 after representing the Sydney Roosters in the NRLW, is now involved in the NSW Women’s State of Origin team and commentates for the Nine network.
Vining had a long-term role as President of the Newtown Jets from 1986-2017. He first became involved with the club in an official capacity in the 1970s, was appointed a director in 1980 and saw the club win the NSW Cup in 2012.
Costa has been a member of Brothers Penrith Junior Rugby League since 1983 and has held several roles over the years including coach, Treasurer and most recently a Try Time coordinator.
Cox, a foundation player and chairman for Woden Valley Rams, was recognised for service to Rugby League; Edwards, a life member of Central Coast Rugby League, was recognised for his work in Junior Rugby League and surf lifesaving; while Mahony was recognised for his service to Rugby League.