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The man called Aubrey: Elwyn Walters

Historical Player: Elwyn Walters

Name: Elwyn Aubrey Walters D.O.B: 25 June 1943
Birthplace: Murwillumbah, NSW  Nickname: Aubrey
Position: Hooker, Second Row, Prop  Club Debut: August 6, 1967 - Round 20 vs Penrith, Redfern Oval
Club Games: 128 (1967-1973) Club Points: 51 (17 tries)

There has been an abundance of talented men who have played hooker for South Sydney - but few can rival Elwyn Walters.

Originally from Tweed Heads on the far north New South Wales coast, Walters began his career as a backrower in the Brisbane Rugby League competition with Norths, before arriving at South Sydney in 1966.

Rumour has it that Club scouts were originally after another hooker, Brian Blowes, but after failing to reach an agreement, Walters was snapped up by Souths after an agreement to pay a £750 transfer fee to bring him to Sydney. 

With experienced hooker Fred Anderson claiming the no.12 jersey, (the original number for the hooker position) Walters was forced to bide his time in second grade during 1966. Not deterred, he helped lead the Club to a reserve-grade title that year, reverting back to the second row to accommodate the strong form of George Piggins.

After teammates found out of his middle name, the nickname 'Aubrey' stuck throughout his career.

The thing that made Souths such a champion Club was the combination of all those great players in the one place. We all knew what we could do and we just all did our work.

Elwyn Walters

Walters would achieve an incredible breakout season in 1967 - claiming the hooker spot in first-grade and help lead the Club to its first Premiership since 1955. His efforts didn't go unnoticed with Australian selectors granting him a spot on the Kangaroo Tour alongside teammates John Sattler and Ron Coote.

What makes this achievement even more remarkable was that Walters only played four first-grade games that season - a feat that is otherwise unheard of.

Fellow South Sydney Dream Team member and teammate Coote reminisced on Walters' ability in the scrum, at a time where teams fought over possession at every opportune moment.

"He came down from Queensland and started in the second row with Souths, but then they moved him into hooker," Coote explained.

"His experience in Brisbane playing hooker and after spending time in reserve grade made him the player he was. When he debuted in first-grade he never looked back.

"He was a great defender and had a great ability to get the ball from the scrum back at a time where there were defendable scrums.

"He played for NSW and Australia and became a great player and teammate."

Walters commented on his time at the Rabbitohs in Alan Whiticker's Glory Days, citing his tactics when it came to the scrum - and emphasised his impressions on the Club at a time of dominance.

He was a great defender and had a great ability to get the ball from the scrum back at a time where there were defendable scrums

Ron Coote Former teammate

"It used to get pretty rough in scrums in those days when you had your head down and blokes were belting you in the face and so forth," he explained.

"You had to have an understanding about how and where you wanted the ball put in the scrum.

"The thing that made Souths such a champion Club was the combination of all those great players in the one place. We all knew what we could do and we just all did our work. I got on very well with Bobby Grant because you had to have a good relationship with your halfback."

Despite missing the 1971 Grand Final due to injury, Walters went on to play in four Grand Finals with the Club over 128 first-grade games, while also representing City, NSW and Australia in a glittering career.

In 2004 he was made a Life Member of the Club while being named at hooker in the South Sydney Dream team that the same year.

Career Milestones 

Premierships: 1967, 1968, 1970
20 Tests for Australia 
2 Kangaroo Tours
12 Matches for NSW 
5 Matches for City 
South Sydney Life Membership (2004)
South Sydney Dream Team (2004)

 

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