Nicholas Michael Shehadie (1926 - 2018)
Born in 1926, Nicholas Michael Shehadie grew up in a Sydney suburb. Enjoying an active lifestyle, he joined the local surfing club where many members were avid rugby players, and fostered within him an enthusiasm for the game.
position PROP (3)
height 5FT 10”
weight 14ST 9LB
debut AUSTRALIA V NEW ZEALAND AUSTRALIA 28TH JUN 1947
He was rugby royalty, albeit with extraordinary humility. No-one in the rugby world he did not know, no rugby yarn he didn’t enjoy hearing or recounting.
He would start his playing career relatively late when at 15 he was picked as a replacement at Randwick Rugby Club. Only a year later he would represent New South Wales against a Combined Services side. At 21, he would feature for N.S.W. against the touring All Blacks and, later that same tour, earn his debut for Australia.
He then joined the 1947-1848 Wallaby tour. The fourth youngest within the squad, the trip concluded with an inaugural match of the Barbarians facing a touring side.
Shehadie would also feature for Trevor Allan’s 1949 team to tour New Zealand. That team made history by returning victorious with the Bledisloe Cup. He would make further appearances against the British and Irish Lions in 1950, the All Blacks in 1951 and Fiji in 1952.
His second tour of New Zealand in 1952 saw him honoured with the Australian captaincy for 8 tour matches and 1 test.
In 1957 he made history again as the first Wallaby to tour the British Isles and Europe twice. From this achievement, Nicholas became the first ‘tourist’ to be invited to play for the Barbarians, and, in the last match against his own team!
Further personal honour was bestowed on Shehadie when elected for the Mayorship of Sydney – a time that coincided with the opening of The Sydney Opera House.
Closer to his sporting roots, he was appointed chairman of the NSW Rugby Union in 1979, a position which afforded him a seat on the A.R.U., and would later become its president in 1980. From this influential position Nicholas would make up part of the Rugby world Cup committee – an organisation instrumental to forming competition.