|Date of Birth:||06/06/1959|
|Place of Birth:||La Perouse, Sydney|
In 1984 he was awarded the Order of
Australia in the Australia Day honoursí list. Markís reaction then
tells us much about his sense of lifeís priorities. He wondered
whether he deserved such an honour because "Iím not working overtime
to be a great [player]... There are probably a lot of people who are
working long hours for charity or whatever and are receiving no
recognition and all Iím doing is playing a sport which is second
nature to me."
Mention the name Ella in the world of rugby and admirers will think of not one, but three young men who first entranced spectators in the British Isles on the famous Australian Schoolsí tour of 1977-78. Mark, his twin Glen and their younger brother Gary were all backs along with the likes of Wally Lewis and Michael Hawker who scored 110 tries to only six against in an invincible tour. A crowd of 20,000 watched at Cardiff Arms Park and England were beaten at Twickenham by seven tries to nil. The mazy running from all corners of the field, set pieces as well as second phase play, attracted great interest but it could never be repeated, the critics said, at senior level. In 1984 Mark Ella was a leading light in a senior team that proved them wrong.
Markís first international was at Sydney in June 1980 against New Zealand. He dropped a goal in a famous victory. He repeated the feat in the third test as the series was won. Just two years later, at the age of 23, he was to captain the Wallabies on their tour of New Zealand with victory in one of the three tests.
Australian rugby seemed to take a change of direction in 1984 with the appointment of a new coach, Alan Jones, at the end of the grand slam tour, Mark Ella retired from international rugby. It had only been part of his life. He and his brothers are proud Aborigines who were born into a disadvantaged but strong family that have risen together to achieve considerable success.
|Between 3rd November and 8th December, the touring Wallabies played and beat England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Mark scored a try in each of the four tests, a unique achievement. His play at fly-half was based on quick hands, scissors and loops, and sensational support play that often found him outside the open-side wing taking passes for outflanking runs to the goal-line.|
|The most remarkable fact about Mark Ellaís achievements in rugby is that he retired at the age of 25. The Wallabies of 1984 had just completed a grand slam tour of the British Isles. He was at the height of his playing career.|