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Vale Ron Tait

The Queensland rugby league community is mourning the passing of former Queensland player Ron Tait.

A 14-match Queensland player from 1960 to 1964, the far north Queensland product played mainly in the centres or five-eighth and was part of an era when Queensland tasted some success prior to the 1980s.

He was also one of the unique group of players who played their entire career in the Queensland jersey from country rugby league.

Born and bred in Innisfail, Tait made his first grade debut for his home town in 1954 before representing far north Queensland against the 1955 touring French side. 

He represented north Queensland in 1956 before transferring to the Toowoomba rugby league in 1957 and stayed in the garden city for three seasons, adding selection in the Toowoomba Bulimba Cup side to his growing resume.

It was in 1960 though, after transferring to the Rockhampton rugby league that his representative career really took off with selection in the Queensland squad.

He made his Queensland debut in the opening game of the 1960 interstate series, which New South Wales won narrowly 21-20.

In the second match of that series Tait scored two tries to help secure a resounding Queensland 17-12 victory.

He returned to Innisfail for the 1961 season and was appointed captain / coach of the town’s Foley Shield side and continued to represent Queensland over the next four seasons as an Innisfail-based player. 

It was during this time that he formed a unique centre partnership for both north Queensland and Queensland with Cairns-based centre Alan Gil, (who had also played in Toowoomba), and the cry of “Tait-Gil” became well known throughout the state.

With Innisfail, Tait tasted great success in the Foley Shield competition, winning the coveted shield in 1964 and 1968. He also represented north Queensland against many visiting international sides including the 1962 English, and 1964 French sides.

After retiring as a player he continued to coach locally until the early 1980s and always supported his beloved Innisfail side.

In 2010, Tait was one of the many former Queensland players to make the trek to Brisbane for the unveiling of the ‘wall of honour’ for Queensland players (1908-87) and he was also part of the 2017 Innisfail 100 Year celebrations.

Hero photo: Ron Tait (left) and Alan Gil together before an event at Suncorp Stadium

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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