Michael Lynagh

Michael Patrick Thomas Lynagh, AM[1] (born 25 October 1963) is an Australian former rugby union footballer who played mainly as a fly-half.

Michael Lynagh
Date of birth (1963-10-25) 25 October 1963 (age 57)
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland, Australia
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
SchoolSt. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane
UniversityUniversity of Queensland.
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1982-1995 University of Queensland ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Benetton Treviso

Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1982–1995 Queensland ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1984–1995 Australia Australia 72 (911)

Lynagh represented Australia from 1984 to 1995, playing at both inside centre and fly half. Lynagh was capped 72 times for Australia, and was captain from 1993 to 1995. He was the world points scoring record holder when he retired, with 911 points.[2] Lynagh was a member of the 1984 Grand Slam-winning team and was vice-captain when Australia won the 1991 World Cup. Until Marty Roebuck took over the kicking duties, he scored in every test he played in,[3][4] including a try against Wales in 1984 when he was temporarily relieved of kicking responsibilities.

He retired from international rugby after Australia's loss to England in the quarter-final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Early yearsEdit

Lynagh attended St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace in Brisbane and played fly-half in the school's first XV from Year 10 to Year 12 (1979–1981). Terrace won the GPS premiership five years straight from 1977 to 1981 with Lynagh playing in the final 3 years and was captain in his last year. Lynagh also played First XI Cricket from Year 9 to Year 12 and was captain in his final year. During his studies at Queensland University, Lynagh worked as a boarding master at Nudgee College Brisbane together with another union great Michael O'Connor who at that time made the decision to opt for the League game.


Michael's son Louis is also a professional rugby player,[5] having signed with Harlequins in 2019 & made his Premiership debut in October 2020. His youngest son Tom, signed with his home club Queensland on Nov. 24, 2020 from 2021-23.


After school he played first grade for University of Queensland and represented Queensland from 1982–1995. Lynagh was a member of Queensland's Super 6 and Super 10-winning sides.

On 9 June 1984, at the age of 20, Lynagh made his debut for Australia against Fiji in Suva. Early in his career he played at inside centre as Mark Ella was the fly-half; when Ella retired after the 1984 Grand Slam, Lynagh took over as fly-half.

In 1991, he joined Italian club Benetton Treviso. He played for five years with the club and won the Italian championship at 1991-92 season.[6]

In 1996, Lynagh joined Saracens of England at the advent of professionalism, after retiring from a glittering 12-year international career with Australia as the world record points scorer with 911 and a World Cup winner (1991).

Lynagh's arrival at the club was the first major signing after Nigel Wray took control of the club and he acted as a beacon to attract other players and fans alike. Lynagh helped Saracens to have their most successful season to date.

In the 1997/98 season Saracens battled it out with Newcastle Falcons for almost the whole season for top spot in the league and when the two sides met in front of a crowd of nearly 20,000 Lynagh slotted a match winning drop goal in the dying minutes to send Vicarage Road into raptures. A month later he was on hand to steer Saracens to their famous Tetley's Bitter Cup 48–18 victory over Wasps at Twickenham, bringing the curtain down on a season to remember.


He is now Managing Director, Dow Jones Corporate EMEA. He is also a TV rugby analyst for Sky Sports UK. On 18 April 2012 Lynagh was admitted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital after experiencing sudden onset of headache, dizziness and visual disturbance after a coughing fit. There it was diagnosed that he had suffered a life-threatening stroke due to vertebral artery dissection. Lynagh was released from hospital on Wednesday 2 May 2012, having largely recovered apart from a left hemianopsia (loss of the left half of the vision in both eyes).[7]

Lynagh was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1996,[1] inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1999,[8] and received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.[9] He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Wallaby Hall of Fame in 2013.[10][11]


Bob Dwyer, former Australian rugby coach, in his first autobiography The Winning Way, claimed Michael Lynagh to be one of the five most accomplished Australian rugby union players he had ever seen. Dwyer ranked Lynagh number one "for his range of point-scoring skills..."[12]

In 2007 Will Carling, former captain of England, listed Lynagh as one of the 50 greatest rugby union players of all-time. Carling ranked Lynagh at number 41 writing that he was a "Great tactician, great kicker, very underrated runner, [and] pivot of 1991 World Cup-winning side."[13]

In 2003, News Limited Newspapers the Daily Telegraph in Sydney and the Courier-Mail in Brisbane ranked the top 100 Australian rugby players of all-time. The list was decided by a panel consisting of former Wallabies flanker and coach Dave Brockhoff; former Test back-rower and captain Tony Shaw, World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer; former Wallabies forward, assistant Test coach and former Queensland administrator and head coach Jeff Miller; former Australian Rugby Union president, former NSW coach and ex-Test forward Peter Crittle; Courier-Mail rugby writer Jim Tucker and Daily Telegraph rugby writer Peter Jenkins. Michael Lynagh was ranked among the top 10 greatest Australian rugby union players of all-time.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Lynagh, Michael Patrick Thomas, AM". It's an Honour. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Player profile - Michael Lynagh". ESPN. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Player analysis / Michael Lynagh / Test matches". ESPN. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Ireland v Australia at Lansdowne Road". ESPN. 31 October 1992. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Louis Lynagh - Player Profile - Rugby". Eurosport. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150930194238/http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/1992/giugno/07/dal_basket_rugby_sempre_Treviso_co_0_92060719847.shtml
  7. ^ "Michael Lynagh in stable condition after suffering stroke". The Guardian. London. 19 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Michael Lynagh". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Lynagh, Michael AM". It's an Honour. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. ^ "2001 inductees". International Rugby Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Michael Lynagh inducted into Wallaby Hall of Fame". rugby.com.au. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  12. ^ Dwyer 2004, p. 181.
  13. ^ "Will Carling: My 50 top rugby players". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  14. ^ Jenkins 2004, p. viii.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
David Codey
Australian national rugby union captain
Succeeded by
Nick Farr-Jones