Craig Wing (born 26 December 1979) is an Australian former professional rugby footballer. He plays in Japan and has represented the Japanese international side. A former rugby league footballer for New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international utility player, Wing played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Sydney Roosters.
|Born||26 December 1979|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||89 kg (14 st 0 lb)|
|Position||Hooker, Halfback, Five-eighth, Fullback, Lock|
As of 11 October 2015
He attended Sydney Boys High School where he played Rugby Union. In 1997 Wing was selected to play in the NSW Schoolboys 1st XV where the team remained undefeated until the final decider.
Rugby league career
Wing made his first grade debut for South Sydney against the Auckland Warriors in round 1 1998 at Mt Smart Stadium. In round 10 of the 1999 NRL season, Wing announced himself as a talent of the future when he scored a solo try against Cronulla-Sutherland where he beat five Cronulla players to cross over the line. Wing scored two tries for South Sydney in what was to be their final ever game when they played against Parramatta in round 26 1999 at Parramatta Stadium. Following the conclusion of the 1999 NRL season, Souths were controversially excluded from the competition as part of the NRL's rationalisation policy. After Souths were excluded, he joined the club's arch rivals the Sydney Roosters.
Wing played most of his professional rugby league at the Sydney Roosters. He moved to the club in 2000 and originally started as a halfback partnering Brad Fittler. Wing played from the interchange bench in the Sydney Roosters' 2000 NRL Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Broncos. He played at halfback in the Roosters team which won the 2002 NRL Grand Final against the New Zealand Warriors, scoring a try.
Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters travelled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens R.F.C.. Wing played at half back in the Roosters victory. Wing was later moved to hooker in 2003 when halfback Brett Finch joined the club. After his side's loss in the 2003 NRL grand final, Wing was selected to go on the 2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, helping Australia to victory over Great Britain in what would be the last time the two nations contested an Ashes series.
Wing played for the Roosters at hooker in their 2004 NRL grand final loss to cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. Wing was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played from the interchange bench in the Kangaroos' 44–4 victory.
Return to Souths
Wing announced in June 2007 that he would be leaving the Roosters at the end of the 2007 NRL season to take up a four-year contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the club where he started his career.
While the Roosters' offer was higher, Wing said he felt more comfortable accepting the Souths offer as it was a guaranteed four-year deal compared to the Roosters' 2-year deal with an option for a further 2 years.
Wing came under criticism for allowing himself to be paraded at a high-profile Souths press conference while still contracted at the Sydney Roosters. It could be argued that the Roosters started the whole problem in the first place however, as they broke the news of Craig Wing's signing on their website before Souths had officially signed him, in an apparent attempt to steal Souths thunder. In any case, Wing still apologised to the Roosters fans. He was jeered on 23 June 2007, by the Roosters fans at a game against the Parramatta Eels, his first game after signing for Souths.
In round 1 of the season, Wing was injured in a tackle in only the 8th minute of the game against his old club the Roosters. Wing was in the process of being tackled by Anthony Tupou and Braith Anasta, when Riley Brown shoulder charged Wing's back. Wing was sidelined for 12 weeks. In a much awaited return, Wing helped Souths to only their fourth win of the season in his return from injury, beating bottom placed North Queensland Cowboys 29–28 in the greatest comeback in Souths' history, having been down 28–4 at one stage of the game.
Wing has represented the New South Wales State of Origin team, City Origin and the Australian Kangaroos. Many of his appearances have been as a reserve due to the fact that he can cover a number of positions.
During Wing's rugby league career he played over 250 NRL first grade games combined for the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs, winning an NRL premiership with the Roosters.
Rugby union career
Wing announced on 21 July 2009 that he would be leaving South Sydney to play rugby union in Japan for the NTT Communications Shining Arcs and in 2010, he joined his former NSW Schoolboys 1st XV coach Joe Barakat who was coaching with the team.
His switch to rugby union attracted interest from the Philippines national rugby union team who approached him to play for them, as he qualified through his mother who is Filipina. Despite this interest, in 2013 he was instead selected for the Japan Cherry Blossoms, having qualified after 3 years residency. He made his debut for Japan in May 2013 in a match against the UAE. He scored his first try for Japan in June 2013, in a historic 23–8 win over Wales, playing at centre in a side coached by fellow Australian Eddie Jones.
- Rugby League Project
- Zavos, Spiro (5 September 2008). "In memory of rugby at Sydney Boys High School". The Roar. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "NSWSRU I XV 1971–2011" (PDF). NSW Schools Rugby Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "Catching Up With Craig Wing". South Sydney Rabbitohs.
- ABC Sport – Rugby League – Hodges on the wing for Broncos
- "Rabbitohs Sign Craig Wing for Four Years". Souths.com. 20 June 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Craig Wing To Leave Roosters". SydneyRoosters.com. 20 June 2007. Archived from the original on 7 September 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Craig Mason blasts Wing's publicity stunt". NRL.com. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "NRL Deluxe – It Was Poor Taste!". NRL.com. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Roosters give Souths a signing lesson". NRL.com. 21 June 2007. Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Wing sorry over 'show pony' signing". NRL.com. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- Wing jeered as Roosters thrashed – League – Fox Sports
- Phelps, James; Ritchie, Dean (17 March 2008). "Wing sidelined for months". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
- Balym, Todd (3 May 2009). "Blues halfback duel in two as Mitchell Pearce misses selection". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- Fitzgibbon, Liam (25 May 2009). "NSW selectors go with form and not reputation for Origin opener". Fox Sports News (Australia). Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
- Zavos, Spiro (21 July 2009). "Craig Wing to play rugby in Japan". The Roar. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
- "選手プロフィール 神戸製鋼コベルコスティーラーズ" (in Japanese). Kobe Steel. 18 August 2014. Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "クレイグ・ウィング" (in Japanese). JRFU. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- Phelps, James (7 October 2009). "Craig Wing approached to play rugby union for the Philippines at the Commonwealth Games". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- "BBC Sport - Japan record historic first win over Wales". BBC. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- State of Origin Official website Rugby League Player Stats
- Official South Sydney Rabbitohs profile
- Wing shock at selection
- Kangaroos turn to versatile Wing
- Wing expects to be fit for final
- ESPN profile
- Japan National Rugby team profile (in Japanese)
- Japan Top League profile (in Japanese)
- Kobelco Steelers profile (in Japanese)
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