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John Eales: Rugby giant and one smart dude - an author, businessman and broadcaster. He is basically the envy of all sport-loving men.
John Eales: Rugby giant and one smart dude - an author, businessman and broadcaster. He is basically the envy of all sport-loving men.

John Eales: A giant among rugby giants

As we head towards Australia Day and remember this country's legends, our friends at Bundaberg Rum give you the chance to put forward your memories of our sporting greats. Hit us up in the comments field below and tell us your favourite John Eales story.

Meanwhile you can nominate your own local sporting legend and win prizes for yourself and them. More info here.

John Eales is the tallest human to ever play rugby. Well maybe not technically, but back when he donned the prestigious green and gold jersey, the one-time Wallaby skipper was a big presence.

Eales was a man among boys in height and status. A man that kept the black electrical tape business going, having wrapped so much of it around his huge head.

Even Bill - remember that impressive World Cup trophy that we used to have all the time? - looked small in those big hands of his.

Australia's captain John Eales hold aloft the Webb Ellis trophy after his side won the final of the Rugby World Cup against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999. (AP Photo/Adam Butler)
Australia's captain John Eales hold aloft the Webb Ellis trophy after his side won the final of the Rugby World Cup against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999. (AP Photo/Adam Butler)

Eales led our precious Wallabies when they were actually good. Back when beating the All Blacks was actually doable.

He is the highest scoring forward in test rugby history and one of just seven forwards to go past 100 points in test rugby. Amazingly, there were just two tries in that lot.

Eales has proved to be a fierce competitor and a huge success in just about all of his off-field pursuits.

For example, he is a gun Sudoku player. He is that good he even dethroned the national champion at the Australian Sudoku Championships back in 2010.

That impressive victory made him Australia's number one ranked Sudoku player at the time.

There were many things that made the big man remarkable on the rugby field, but it was mainly his ability to kick a ball.

It was unusual for a forward to have the brain capacity or co-ordination to do more than stand upright, breathe and make brutal hits on opponents. But Eales could do all that and was deadly in front of the sticks.

Australian Wallabies captain John Eales, right, is hugged by George Gregan after defeating the New Zealand All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup Tri Nations rugby match at WestpacTrust Stadium in Wellington, Saturday August 5, 2000. The Wallabies won 24-23.(AP Photo/Phil Walter, FOTOPRESS)
Australian Wallabies captain John Eales, right, is hugged by George Gregan after defeating the New Zealand All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup Tri Nations rugby match at WestpacTrust Stadium in Wellington, Saturday August 5, 2000. The Wallabies won 24-23.(AP Photo/Phil Walter, FOTOPRESS)

He booted loads of penalty goals and conversions along the way but who could forget that sideline penalty goal in the final minutes of a 2000 test to win the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand, on their soil.

Even if he never did anything else as a Wallaby, that moment alone when he showed up the Kiwis was worthy of him being elevated to legend status. Even today it's considered the best moment in Bledisloe Cup history.

At the end of it all Eales played 86 tests for his country, mainly in the No.5 jersey, and was one of just a handful of Wallabies to have won the World Cup twice.

Post career he even had a medal named after him that is awarded annually to Australia's best rugby player.

He is also one smart dude - an author, businessman and broadcaster. He is basically the envy of all sport loving men.

John Eales has been out of the game for almost 15 years now but his achievements against those Kiwis for so long will always be appreciated.

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