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Life Members bring 100 years in Rugby League experience

A former leader of both the national and state governing bodies for Rugby League, and one of the most revered Indigenous players and coaches – Geoff Carr OAM and Scott Mieni – who have dedicated a combined almost 100 years to the game, have been awarded Life Memberships of the NSWRL.

Carr and Mieni become the 117th and 118th members of the elite group, dating back to 1909 – after Rugby League enjoyed its inaugural year of competition in 1908.

“It’s very humbling and a great honour, and I thank you very much,” Carr said after this month’s NSWRL Annual General Meeting acknowledged the vote by its members on Friday 17 February.

“The fact this Life Membership represents both the NSWRL and CRL since they are now merged, means even more to me,” he said.

Mieni, a Bourke native and proud Ngemba man, added: “I’m honoured just to be named alongside Geoff.

“All those hours of driving around the state in 30 years of coaching … it is something I have a passion for. It’s just something I love.

“It’s such a great honour and I feel very humbled to get this.”

Carr was appointed Chief Executive of the ARL (Australian Rugby League) in 2000 and General Manager of the NSWRL in 2003.

He retired in 2013 and in 2020 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to Rugby League.

A NSW Schoolboy representative, Carr came to St George as an 18-year-old in 1970. He was on the wing when the Dragons were defeated by South Sydney (16-10) in the 1971 grand final.

From his five years in the famous Red-V jersey Carr scored 27 tries in 59 games (1970-74).

After his playing days ended, he became Chief Executive of St George in 1990.

He was manager for the Origin series-winning NSW Blues sides in 1993-94 and toured with the Kangaroos in 1994 to England and France. He was then appointed manager for the 1995 World Cup in the UK, which Australia won.

Mieni is still vice-president of Group 2 Rugby League in NSW. He became a life member of the organisation in 2020.

He started playing when he was eight in 1973 and enjoyed an uninterrupted 27-year career finishing in 2000 with the Cobar Roosters.

During those years he played and coached NSW Country, played SG Ball for Western Suburbs in Sydney as well as stints with Mudgee, Lithgow, Tumut, Coffs Harbour and Cobar, winning six premierships from 10 grand final appearances.

He played 42 NSWRL first grade games with the Gold Coast Giants (1988-90) scoring 10 tries.

Since retiring from playing, Mieni has coached and developed numerous Indigenous teams, including the Australian U16s and NSW U16s, as well as setting up female Indigenous pathways in the North Coast region.

He is currently coaching the North Coast Bulldogs open women’s tackle team, and has no intentions of ending his 50-year association with Rugby League any time soon.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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