Lew Platz.
Lew Platz.

A cold beer with . . . player who had incredible career

Michael Nunn

THE Platz family became a Toowoomba Rugby League institution.

Lew Platz and his older brother Greg both played for Queensland and Australia.

Lew left Toowoomba to become a Magpie and a Seagull before taking up the challenge of Sydney and the Eels and Panthers.

During an incredible year in 1975, Platz played six Tests for Australia.

We pulled the car up to watch Wattles and had a chat about an incredible career.

You made your debut for Queensland in 1973 from Toowoomba. Were you tempted stay in Toowoomba?

No not really. I wanted to test myself. Greg would never leave but I did not mind leaving and seeing what else was out there. John Sattler was Queensland captain that year and it was special to play with him. I came off the bench in my first game for Queensland and we got beaten 26-0.

Souths Magpies is a long way from Toowoomba. How did you end up at Souths for a year?

Englishman Brian Briggs was the Souths coach and he promised me if I came to Souths, I would get a start in England at the end of the 1974 season. So I went to Souths and they sacked Briggs with four games to go and my English stint did not happen. John Grant became coach.

In 1975 you move to Wynnum and you played six Tests matches in an incredible year.

Wynnum brought in some handy players like John Dowling and Nev Nornery and we had a good year.

I do not think it was my best year. I still think I was playing better football in 1977 but six Tests in a year was great. I was able to play New Zealand twice, Wales, England and France twice.

Queensland won the first game and then we had four Queenslanders chosen for the Test side against New Zealand.

In 1977, you get to play for Queensland with your brother Greg. Was that a highlight?

Greg and I played three games for Queensland together, the two interstate games in 1977 and then against the Great Britain side for three losses but they are great memories.

Your career at the Eels did not start too well did it?

No sent off. I played the first game and got dropped, fought my way back in and then playing the Dragons, I was watching Rod Reddy and he's gone past me and I have stuck the arm out and straight off.

Four sens-offs in that game - Craig Young and Ted Goodwin, Ed Sulkowicz and myself. I went to the club to see how we handle this and they said we have already been told you are getting a month.

I thought that seems fair and reasonable. So I copped a month just like they said I would, you cannot really afford to miss a month when you are playing at a club with 17 internationals like the Eels had then.

Cooper's stat

Lew Platz: 6 Tests and 8 interstate games for Queensland.