Mark O'Neill (rugby league) : biography
Mark O'Neill (born 19 June 1975, in Paddington, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He played in Australia for the Balmain Tigers and the Wests Tigers following the merger of Balmain and Western Suburbs Magpies) and in England for Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers of Super League. O'Neill's usual position was at second row.
- First Grade Debut: 1994 – Round 19, Balmain v St George, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney, 6 August.
- Premierships: 2005 – Wests Tigers defeated North Queensland Cowboys 30 - 16 in the Grand Final, Stadium Australia, Sydney, 2 October.
- Wests Tigers Club Captain: 2005
A staunch and durable player, O'Neill was a member of the Tigers, in both their forms, for twelve seasons.
O'Neill was on the receiving end of a serious case of foul-play in 2004 when Danny Williams of the Melbourne Storm punched O'Neill in the face in an off the ball incident. Williams received an 18 match ban.
In 2005 he was voted team captain, a title Scott Prince took over during O'Neill's twelve weeks absence with an elbow injury. Controversially, coach Tim Sheens retained Prince as captain on O'Neill's return to the team. He went on to play at second-row forward in the Tigers 2005 NRL Grand Final win over the North Queensland Cowboys.
At the end of the 2005 season, O'Neill moved to England and Leeds Rhinos. His season at Leeds was marred by injury. A pre-season friendly resulted in a shoulder injury which sidelined him for four months and a leg muscle tear resulted in six weeks off the field. O'Neill's contract at Leeds was not renewed and he spent 2007 at Hull Kingston Rovers where he played his final year in professional rugby league before retiring.
In February 2008, O'Neill was appointed to the NRL's Match Review Committee. The committee scans match videos for incidents of foul play.
He also works for Sky News as a rugby league analyst.
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