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Port Macquarie News
07 September 2007 View all news  |  Send to a friend  |  Print
Harry’s honour
ROD THOMPSON

An honour: Port Macquarie’s rugby league legend Harry Wells was inducted into the ARL’s Hall of Fame at the Dally M awards on Tuesday night. Pic: NIGEL McNEIL
An honour: Port Macquarie’s rugby league legend Harry Wells was inducted into the ARL’s Hall of Fame at the Dally M awards on Tuesday night. Pic: NIGEL McNEIL
RUGBY league Immortal John Raper summed it up perfectly at the Dally M awards, at Sydney Town Hall, on Tuesday night.

"Reg Gasnier and Harry Wells were the best centre combination ever," the brilliant lock stated.

And, fittingly, Port Macquarie's "living legend"Wells was finally reunited with his former Test team mate Gasnier in the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame earlier this week.

He was one of six inductees, joining Arthur "Pony" Holloway, Tom Gorman, Sid "Joe" Pearce (1908-1945),Keith Barnes and Michael Cronin (1946-2007).

It's been a remarkable couple of years for Wells, also named in the Team of the 50s last month, the Western Suburbs Team of the Century and the Wests Tigers Team of the Century.

"I thought playing first grade in Wollongong was a big deal," he told the Port News.

"Boy, was I surprised? I never imagined my career would go the way it did.

"Playing for Australia is easily the highlight.

"Back then, we represented our country for nothing.

"But, being added to the ARL Hall of Fame left me speechless.

"It's a great honour." As a 13-year-old,Wells gained selection in the NSW Schoolboys side in 1946.

Then, five seasons later - while a member of the premiership-winning South Sydney Rabbitohs,he was picked to tackle the French national team.

In 1952, Wells returned to Wollongong but continued to impress selectors.

That year, he represented Country, New South Wales and Australia, and took part in the Kangaroos' tour.

Wells also faced New Zealand (1953), contested the World Cup (1954) and battled France (1955) before linking up with the mighty Western Suburbs Magpies in 1956.

There, he took the field for the "black and whites" on 73 occasions, even captaining the side in the 1958 grand final.

The robust threequarter retired from Western Suburbs at the end of 1961 and enjoyed a four-year hiatus.

Wells made his comeback with Goulburn in 1966 and, as a member of the Monaro divisional outfit, took on Great Britain one last time.

He spent 1967 and '68 with Young, securing a premiership along the way, while Longreach garnered his services in 1969.

Wells moved to Port Macquarie the following season, contesting the 1972 Group 3 grand final with the Sharks.

A knee injury ended his stellar career, however he's remained in the Hastings till this day.

But, it's Wells' partnership with Gasnier that receives most plaudits.

"Reg and I just clicked," he admitted.

"It was easy - we knew each other's games so well.

"He helped me, and I helped him.

"Even though I was eight years older than Reg, we were, and still are, great mates.

"I was privileged to play with and against some excellent players, from Dick Poole to Alex Watson, from Ken McCaffery to Greg Hawick."

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