Malcolm Norman “Mal” Meninga is a former player and coach in the Australian professional rugby league. He had a 16-year playing career and appeared in over 460 first-grade games for state, club, and country. He is a renowned goalkeeper and one of the greatest footballers of the twentieth century. He is the only player to be chosen for four Kangaroo Tours, two of which he captained. When he was a member of the unbeaten teams known as “The Invincibles” and “The Unbeatables” that toured in 1982 and 1986, he gained even more fame and recognition. He appeared in 46 games for Australia and scored 278 points, including 21 tries and 99 goals. He has also captained all of the teams for which he has played, and Australia has only lost six of the 46 tests in which he has appeared. He coached the Queensland State of Origins squad after retiring from playing, and the team won eight consecutive series. He has received numerous honors and awards in appreciation of his significant contribution to Australian sports.
Childhood and Adolescence
Mal Meninga was born in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, on July 8, 1960. Norman Meninga, his father, was a rugby league player.
He attended Maroochydore State High School but dropped out when he was 15 to join the West End police academy.
Coach Wayne Bennett recognized Mal’s enormous athletic potential and guided him here.
He had a hard time fitting in with his teammates as a kid because he was dark-skinned and tall. He had to play Rugby in a higher age group due to his height.
Career of Mal Meninga
In 1978, Mal Meninga made his Brisbane Rugby League premiership debut for the Souths Logan Magpies. He played center for Queensland in the Amco Cup in 1979, representing Brisbane.
He helped Queensland win their first State of Origin match against New South Wales on his twentieth birthday. Meninga converted seven of his seven shots.
In 1981, he led the Souths to the BRL title, defeating the Redcliffe Dolphins 13-9.
In a test against New Zealand in Sydney in 1982, he made his debut for Australia. His elbow was dislocated after 28 minutes of play following a blindside challenge from Kiwi winger Dane O’Hara.
The Australian national team were undefeated in Europe for the first time in 1982, earning the nickname “The Invincibles.” Meninga led the team in scoring with 166 points from ten tries.
Before the 1984-85 Rugby Football League season, he signed a £30,000 contract with St Helens. St Helens defeated Wigan in the Lancashire Cup final in 1984, with Meninga scoring two tries. He was unable to play in the next season due to a series of ailments.
In 1987, he joined the Canberra Raiders, where he met up with former teammates Gary Belcher and Wayne Bennett, as well as Australian national coach Don Furner. Due to an injury, he missed the majority of the season.
He fractured his arm for the second time at the start of the 1988 NSWRL season, missing up to Round 15, and then breaking it again after another five games. He missed the entire season and the 1988 World Cup Finals in Auckland due to this injury.
In 1990, he was named national captain. After losing the first Ashes test against Great Britain, the Australian team went on to win the next two, retaining the Ashes for the first time since 1974. Meninga, who scored one of the most famous tries in test history, was instrumental in the second match’s victory.
He captained Australia in the 1992 World Cup final against Great Britain at Wembley Stadium in London.
The Canberra Raiders seemed destined to win the 1993 premiership until halfback Ricky Stuart broke his right ankle in an unfortunate occurrence, and they were knocked out in the finals.
In the Grand Final of the 1994 NSWRL season, he played his final game for the Canberra Raiders, in which his club defeated Canterbury-Bankstown to win their third premiership. He scored the game’s final try, capping off an incredible career.
On December 4, 1994, Mal Meninga captained Australia for the final time against a weak French squad at the Stade de la Mediterranee, winning 74-0. He scored the game’s and his career’s final try.
For the 1997 Super League season in Australia, he was named head coach of the Canberra Raiders. In 2001, he was replaced by Matthew Elliot.
From 2006 until 2013, he was the coach of Queensland, and the squad won the State of Origin series every year. He also coached the Prime Minister’s XIII team to victory.
Achievements and Awards
Mal Meninga was the first and only player to participate in all four Kangaroo Tours (1982, 1986, 1990, and 1994), as well as captaining two of them (1990 and 1994).
He was named BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year in 1990, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
In 1994, he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia.
In 2001, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and the Centenary Medal for his outstanding achievements and contributions to rugby.
He was named one of Australia’s 100 Greatest Players in 2008.
Queensland won the State of Origin series eight times in a row after he took over as coach.
Personal History and Legacy
Mal Meninga married Debbie when he was 19 years old, and the couple has two children together. The marriage, however, ended in divorce. He is married to Amanda for the second time, and they have two sons together.
Estimated Net Worth
Mal Meninga is one of the wealthiest and most well-known rugby coaches. Mal Meninga’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.