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Rugby league history: The all-time great alphabet teams – Letter Q

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Roar Guru
16th June, 2019

Continuing our search for the ultimate alphabet team, we now come to the Q Team.

They probably lack the quality of the more fancied sides, but ten players out of the seventeen have played rep footy at some level.

Click here to read the remainder of the alphabet series so far.

Centres and wingers were easy to come by, not so much in the forwards. Funnily enough, when there are few standouts selection becomes much harder.

1. Chris Quinn
Years active: 1989 – 1999
Clubs: Cronulla, St George, Adelaide, Parramatta
Club games: 152 (19 tries)
Nickname: “Evil Kinevil”.

Chris Quinn had a solid ten-year career in the NRL, playing over 150 games. A Cronulla junior (who also played junior reps in AFL), Quinn spent his first five years at the Sharks.

He established strong credentials as a utility, playing every spot in the backline, as well as hooker and lock. He also won a reserve grade premiership with the club in 1994.

Quinn moved to St George in 1995 becoming less of a utility and more of a specialist full back.

In 1996 he was on the bench for all their semi-finals, only to miss their grand final loss to Manly. Quinn then moved to the newly-formed Adelaide Rams in 1997 during Super League.


On the demise of the Rams, Quinn moved to Parramatta in 1999 to finish his career.

Despite moving between a number of clubs, Quinn’s ties to the sharks remain strong. His father worked for the club, his son played Harold Matthews Cup and his daughter, Olivia, plays for Cronulla in the Under 18’s women’s competition.

2. Oscar Quinlivan
Years active: 1922 – 1930
Clubs: Taree (NSW), Souths
Club games (Souths): 91 (26 tries, 34 goals)
Representative Career: NSW: 5.

Oscar Quinlivan represented NSW from NSW Country in 1922. He was originally from the North Coast of NSW.

In 1922 Quinlivan played for NSW Seconds against the Touring NZ Maori, and video footage of this match is among the oldest rugby league footage in the country.

To show how the game has changed, there was no limitation on the number of markers who could stand around the play the ball and strike for it. Quinlivan also wore a belt on the field!

That year Quinlivan was also selected to play against QLD in one match of the interstate series.

In 1924 Quinlivan toured with NSW playing against Tamworth, Ipswich, Toowoomba and QLD (losing to Toowoomba and QLD).


Quinlivan played no more representative football until 1928 when he captained City Seconds against Country and played for City Firsts as well. His final representative game was in the 1929 City Seconds team.

At club level, he joined South Sydney in 1923 after impressing in a tour match versus Manning River League in 1922 when they held Souths to a draw.

Quinlivan went on to play eight seasons for Souths, scoring 26 tries and kicking 34 goals. This was a very strong era for the club.

After reaching the grand final in 1923 and 1924, the club won five premierships in a row from 1925 to 1929, the second greatest winning streak in NSWRL history. Quinlivan played in the 1928 and 1929 grand final wins and the 1923 and 1924 losses.

The Quinlivan family left quite a legacy at Souths. Four brothers: Alan, Jack, Clinton and Leon Quinlivan also played with the club. They are the only set of five brothers to ever play in the NSW first grade competition.

3. Graham Quinn
Years active: 1972 – 1985
Clubs: Brothers (QLD), St George, Cronulla
Club games (NSWRL): 137 (29 tries)
Representative Career: Tests: 1. NSW: 1. QLD: 3.
Nickname: “Magoo”.

Graham Quinn was a centre for Brothers in QLD where he represented the state twice in 1976. He was lured south to St George just in time to be a part of the club’s 1977 historic premiership, won against Parramatta after a draw and a replay.

A renowned defensive centre, Quinn went on to play in St George’s 1979 premiership win as well.


In 1980 Quinn played a game for NSW and then toured NZ with the Australian side and played one Test.

He had to pull out of the inaugural State of Origin in 1980 due to injury (allowing Mal Meninga to move from the wing to the centres) but got his chance to play an Origin in 1982.

Quinn returned to QLD in 1984 but then played a final season in NSW in 1985 for Cronulla.

4. Alan Quinlivan
Years active: 1935 – 1947
Clubs: Young (NSW Country) South Sydney, Eastern Suburbs
Representative career: NSW: 3.

The second member of the Quinlivan family to make this side, Alan was a centre for Souths and Easts who represented NSW three times in the 1940 interstate series.

He missed the 1941, 1943 and 1944 seasons being a Lieutenant in the AIF, but played 63 games for the Rabbitohs across eight seasons, scoring 43 tries. Five of those came in one match against University in 1936, a club record that still stands.

5. Anthony Quinn
Years active: 2002 – 2013
Clubs: Newcastle, Melbourne
Club games: 210 (86 tries)
Representative Career: NSW: 3.

Anthony Quinn played over 200 NRL games in his twelve-year career, scoring 86 tries.


After spending five years with the Knights, Quinn joined Melbourne in 2007 and scored a double in the club’s grand final win over Manly.

He also played in the Storm’s grand final loss to Manly the following year. Quinn played in two World Club Challenge matches for the Storm against Leeds, losing in 2008 but winning in 2010, with Quinn scoring a try.

Quinn was selected for NSW Country between 2006 and 2008, and in 2008 was selected for NSW, coached by his Melbourne mentor, Craig Bellamy.

Quinn scored a double in the first Origin match that year and had a fine defensive game in NSW’s victory. The rest of the series was not so happy, highlighted by Israel Folau using him as a springboard to score a spectacular try from a bomb.

Quinn suffered a serious neck injury in 2009, but surgery enabled him to continue his career for another four years. In 2013 he returned to the Knights but only played four games and retired at the end of the season due to injury.

Tony Quinn State of Origin

NSW Blues Anthony Quinn scores his 2nd try despite pressure from Queenslands Brent Tate during game one of the State of Origin at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Wednesday, May 21, 2008. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)


6. Jim Quealey
Years active: 1938 – 1945
Clubs: Balmain
Club games: 80 (13 tries, 46 goals)
Representative Career: NSW: 1.

Jim Quealey was a goalkicking half or five-eighth for Balmain during the 1930s and 1940s. In seven years with the club, Quealey scored 13 tries and kicked 46 goals.

Quealey was halfback in 1939 when Balmain thrashed Souths 33-4 in the grand final, with Quealey scoring a try. He was at five-eighth in 1941 when St George scored an equally convincing win over the Tigers in that season’s decider.

Quealey played his one game for NSW in 1940, when they were thrashed 45-8 by a strong QLD team.

7. Ron Quinn
Years active: 1983 – 1991.
Clubs: Parramatta, Cronulla, Gerringong (NSW)
Club games (NSWRL): 70 (9 tries)

Hailing from Gerringong, Ron Quinn was a halfback or five-eighth for Parramatta and Cronulla in the 1980s. Quinn is the son of former test Prop Paul Quinn and cousin of Mick Cronin.

Quinn won rookie of the year with the Eels in 1983 and in 1984 was on the bench for Parramatta’s grand final loss to Canterbury. In all, he played 70 first grade games.

In 1989 Quinn took over from Mick Cronin as captain-coach of Gerringong and took them to the 1990 Group 7 premiership.


8. Paul Quinn (Captain)
Honours: Newtown Team of the Century.
Years active: 1952 – 1971
Clubs: Gerringong (NSW), Newtown, Nowra (NSW), Canberra (ACT)
Club games (NSWRL): 65 (4 tries)
Representative Career: Tests: 7, NSW 9.

Father of Ron (above), Paul Quinn was another product of Gerringong (winning premierships there in 1956 and 1960).

While playing on the south coast, Quinn played against Great Britain in 1962.

In 1963 Quinn was selected for NSW and for Australia against South Africa, the first player to be selected from Gerringong.

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Quinn toured with the Kangaroos at the end of 1963 and was part of the team that won the Ashes from Great Britain in England for the first time in 52 years in the “Swinton Massacre”.

He went on to play Tests and state games until 1965, including against France and NZ. In his eight appearances against Queensland, he never lost a game.

Quinn captained Newtown and led them to the finals in 1966. He was named in the club’s Team of the Century.

Quinn returned to country football for Nowra in 1968 and captained NSW Country that year.

9. Sam Quigley (Goalkicker)
Years active: 1919 – 1924
Clubs: Glebe
Club games: 26 (5 tries, 45 goals)

Sam Quigley was a goalkicking hooker or forward who played for Glebe in the mid-1920s and was the club’s top points scorer in 1923 and 1924. He played 18 matches for club and scored 74 points. Quigley played in Glebe’s City Cup Final loss to Balmain in 1923.

10. Norman Quinn
Years active: 1925 – 1928
Clubs: Western NSW, University
All games (NSWRL plus Rep): 28 (5 tries)
Representative Career: NSW 8.


It wasn’t easy to find a second prop forward to accompany Paul Quinn. Norman Quinn will have to push up from the second row.

Quinn was from Western NSW and played a season for University in 1925. That year he was selected for a combined Universities XIII that defeated the touring NZ side. He was then selected at Prop for NSW against the tourists (losing 17-10).

Returning to country football, in 1927 Quinn played for the NSW XIII in a drawn game against QLD. That year he also represented Far West NSW in a draw against Newcastle and wins against North Sydney and the Far North Coast, and then played for Country in two games against Metropolis (now City), losing both.

In 1928 Quinn captained Far West NSW in a loss to St George and then played for Country in a victory over City. He represented Western NSW against the touring British Lions and NSW Seconds in a win over QLD, scoring two tries.

He was given another chance for NSW again in 1928, playing two games against the touring British Lions for one win and one loss, two against QLD both losses and one victory over QLD Colts. That year he also played for NSW in a loss (!) to Northern Division.


11. Paul Quinn (the other one)
Years active: 1991 – 1997
Clubs: Parramatta, Penrith, Souths
Club games: 63 (4 tries)

The ‘other’ Paul Quinn was an Australian Schoolboy representative from Mungindi who played 63 first grade games during the 1990’s in the back row or from the bench.

After failing to secure a starting spot with a struggling Parramatta side in 1991 and 1992, Quinn moved to Penrith where he got a starting spot but did not play after Round 7.

He joined Souths in 1994 and finally became a regular starter in 1995, playing 36 matches over the next two years. A highlight was being on the bench for Souths’ 1994 win over the reigning premiers, Brisbane to win the Toohey’s Challenge Cup pre-season competition, 27-26.

12. Greg Quinn
Years active: 1972 – 1984
Clubs: Brothers (QLD), Ipswich (QLD)
Representative Career: QLD: 3.

Greg Quinn was a second rower in the Brisbane competition. He was part of the 1979 Combined Brisbane side that reached the final of the Amco Cup mid-week competition, losing to Cronulla.

That year Quinn also represented QLD in all three interstate games against NSW. In 1980 Quinn returned for Brisbane in the Amco Cup but they were beaten by Easts in the first round.

Quinn was captain-coach of the original Ipswich Jets team that joined the QLD State League in 1982 and scored the club’s first ever try. He played and coached the team until 1984.


13. John Quayle
Years active: 1968 – 1976
Clubs: Easts, Parramatta
Club games: 103 (22 tries)
Representative Career: Tests: 3, NSW 2.

Before he was the ARL rugby league CEO during the Super League war John Quayle was an accomplished lock forward who represented Australia three times.

Quayle started at Easts in 1968. He missed the entire 1969 season with glandular fever but bounced back to play 47 games for the club, including their 1972 grand final loss to Manly.

He also was selected on the bench for NSW in one of their rare losses to QLD during the era.

Quayle moved to Parramatta in 1973 where he had the most success, representing NSW in 1973 and being selected for Australia for the 1975 World Cup.

He played against France, NZ and Wales, but a shoulder injury suffered on the tour led to his retirement the following year.

14. Luke Quigley (Newcastle, Catalans (France)) – 2002 – 2007.
Hooker. 41 games for the Knights. Played in the 2007 Challenge Cup final loss for Catalans. A tough player, he once played 20 minutes against Canberra with a ruptured testicle.

15. Ray Quinnell (Manly) – 1956 – 1961
Five-eighth or centre. Represented Country against City in 1956. Moved to Sydney and scored eleven tries for the Sea Eagles in 64 games. Played in their 1957 grand final loss.


16. Colin Quinn (Brothers Ipswich (QLD) – 1950 – 1950. QLD: 3
Centre. Played three games for QLD in 1950 from Ipswich. Also played for Ipswich against the touring Great Britain side that year. English Prop Gwyther was sent off late in the match for kicking Quinn in the face.

17. Dick Quinn (Balmain, Newtown). – 1961 – 1967
Winger. Scored 27 tries in 72 games. Played in Balmain’s 1964 grand final loss to St George.

Honourable mentions. Not many: Clint Quinlivan (Wing. NSW Seconds and City Seconds), Terry Quinn (Wing. 63 games for Penrith), Adam Quinlan (Fullback. 64 games to date for St George, St Helens and Hull).

And there you have the Q Team. It was a bit of a struggle, but ten Quinns helped.

Next time we look at the Rs, some serious strike power, even more serious mongrel and the best forward the game has known.