This annual dinner features a panel of renowned Australian and international rugby legends such as John Eales AM, Dr Mark Loane AM, Michael Lynagh AM and Nathan Sharpe.

"Thank you very much for putting on an incredible event… the quality of people in the room was outstanding."

Nathan Sharpe, 2016 MC

In 2017 we welcome rugby legends Nick Farr-Jones AM, Tim Horan AM, Mark McBain, Dr Brendan Nasser, Joe Roff and Nick Stiles.

Nick Farr-Jones AM

Nick Farr-Jones AM Growing up in a sporting family, Nick Farr-Jones’ early life included soccer, swimming and surfing, athletics, golf, cricket and even skiing. Despite not making his school’s First XV, he went on to play for the Wallabies for ten consecutive years from 1984 to 1993, and is esteemed as one of the greatest captains in Australia’s glorious rugby history.

While studying law at Sydney University, Farr-Jones made the University Colts team and the University’s First Grade team. Sydney selectors recognised the rising star’s potential, and he was selected for the Sydney tour to Europe.

Farr-Jones was selected for New South Wales and Australia in 1984, and his Wallabies Test debut came in the famous 1984 Grand Slam tour of Great Britain and Ireland. At 22 years of age, he had the opportunity to make his mark and did not disappoint, scoring a try and demonstrating his effectiveness with a robust, all-round game. Victory ensued, and Farr-Jones played in all the subsequent Grand Slam Tests.

He was appointed Captain of the Wallabies in 1988, and led the team to World Cup victory in 1991 alongside vice-Captain Michael Lynagh AM. The 1992 season was also highly successful with Farr-Jones captaining his side to victory in the Bledisloe Cup, and leading the Wallabies to overrun the Springboks in their greatest defeat in 100 years, 26 to 3, in Cape Town.

He also led the British Barbarians in their two tests celebrating their 100th anniversary, and a World XV versus the All Blacks celebrating the 100th anniversary of New Zealand rugby.

After playing 63 Tests for Australia including 36 as Captain (a world record at the time), Farr-Jones retired from his celebrated rugby career in 1993. He has worked as a lawyer and investment banker, and currently works for Taurus Funds Management investing and lending in the global mining sector.

Farr-Jones was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1992 for his service to rugby union. He has been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, the Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame and the Sports Australia Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Farr-Jones was named as one of the seven Australian Rugby Statesmen, a testament to the contribution he has made to the game overall.

Tim Horan AM

Tom Horan AM Australian rugby legend Tim Horan AM made his Wallabies debut in 1989 as a teenager, earning his first gold jersey against the All Blacks.

Two years later at the 1991 World Cup, Horan was crucial to the Wallabies success, most notably when he scored a try from David Campese’s memorable over-the-shoulder, no-look pass in the semi-final against New Zealand. No try has been given as much replay time since.

One of the most consistent Australian players of the 1991 World Cup tour, he was an integral part of a highly productive back line and worked perfectly between Jason Little and Michael Lynagh.

Horan suffered a potentially career-ending knee injury in 1994, with doctors telling him that he was unlikely to play rugby again. He was out of the game for 12 months and made a remarkable comeback at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In 1999, Horan became one of only six players to have won two Rugby World Cup medals, by guiding Australia to its second World Cup victory. He also won a year’s supply of Guinness for scoring the fastest try in the tournament.

Horan was named World Cup player of the tournament in 1999, in a fitting end to an illustrious career. In all, Horan played in 100 matches for Australia, 80 of them Tests, and had the honour of captaining his country twice – once in a Test against Wales, and once against the Barbarians, both in 1996.

Since retiring from his playing career, Horan retains an avid interest in rugby and is currently a rugby commentator at Fox Sports. He is also the National Head of Westpac Sports and Entertainment.

Horan was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006, was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009, and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2015.

Mark McBain

Mark McBainMark McBain has enjoyed a successful and multifaceted rugby career over several decades, including playing, coaching and commentating on the game. He is known as one of the toughest hookers to grace the sport, winning respect for his tenacity and determination.
 
Beginning his illustrious rugby career at the schoolboy level, McBain was a member of the 1977 First XV premiership winning team at St. Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace. After graduating, he played Colts rugby as a member of the Under 19 Queensland team, captained the Under 21 Queensland team and was Vice Captain for the Under 21 Australian team. He joined Brothers Rugby Club in 1978, playing A-Grade for 12 years, winning six premierships and captaining the team for four years.
 
McBain became a member of the Queensland team in 1980 and went on to play 67 games over the course of a decade. In 1983 he made the Wallaby team where he played seven tests and 50 games over eight international tours, including the notable 1984 Grand Slam tour victory.
 
After retiring from playing in 1990 due to injury, McBain began a successful coaching career. Going back to his rugby foundations, McBain became the Coaching Director at St. Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace in 1991. From 1995 to 1996 he coached the first XV team, clinching the premiership in 1996 - the school’s first in 15 years. During this period, he simultaneously acted as a coaching consultant to the Kobe Steelers, winning the All Japan Championship in 1993.

From 1997 to 2000, McBain was the A-Grade coach at the University of Queensland, before being appointed as the Head Coach of the Queensland Reds for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. McBain led the Reds to fourth and fifth place in the then Super 12 competition, notably defeating the New Zealand Māori team during his Queensland tenure.
 
After leaving the Reds, he took his coaching back to Japan and joined the WorldCorp team for several years. He finished his coaching career on a high note with a return to Gregory Terrace in 2004, leading the school to another premiership win – Terrace’s tenth and last premiership to date. McBain has continued his rugby contribution with a regular radio spot on 4TAB for the past 15 years, providing analysis and commentary on both Australian and international rugby twice weekly.

He currently lives in Brisbane where he owns a building company and plays golf as much as he can.

Dr Brendan Nasser

Dr Brendan Nasser Dr Brendan Nasser graduated from The University of Queensland (UQ) with a Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) in 1986.

He played senior rugby with the UQ Rugby Football Club from 1984 – 1992, during which time he was involved in premiership winning teams in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

Nasser soon gained a reputation as a very powerful number eight with exceptional skills and strength, and was almost unstoppable when close to the try-line.

He played 45 games for Queensland from 1986 –1992, and made his Wallabies Test debut in Strasbourg, France in 1989 where he formed part of a formidable and very skilful Australian team.

Nasser continued to represent the Wallabies until 1992 with a total of 10 Test matches, including being a member of the 1991 Rugby World Cup winning Wallabies. Throughout his rugby career, Nasser earned a reputation as a skilful, clever and fair player and was regarded by his fellow players as an excellent team man.

Following his playing days in Australia, Nasser completed postgraduate study at the University of Oxford where he won his Rugby Blues before working as forwards coach at Oxford from 1994 – 1998.

On his return to Australia, Nasser pursued his career in dentistry and has been a partner at Toowong Dental Group since 1998.

Nasser founded the Classic Wallabies’ Indigenous Exchange (CWIE) program in 2012, which has seen thirty-two young Indigenous Australians tour to South Africa over the past four years, working in remote communities under Francois Pienaar’s MAD Foundation. The CWIE program expanded to the United Kingdom in 2016.

Joe Roff

Joe Roff Joe Roff’s highly successful rugby union career began in his high school years where he played in the undefeated Marist College 1st XV, Australian U16 team in 1991, and the Australian School’s in 1992-1993.

He played for the Tuggeranong Vikings 1sts who were premiers in 1994, and during the period 1994 to 1995 made his ACT debut, played in the Australian 7s, Australian XV, Australian Under-19s and Under-21s. In recognition as the best and fairest first grade player in the ACT competition, Roff was awarded The Tommy Byrne Trophy in 1995.

Following his Wallabies Test debut against Canada in 1995, Roff soon made his mark as one of the world’s outstanding rugby players. At age 24, Roff was the youngest Australian player to have played 50 Tests. During his remarkable career, he had the honour of playing the most consecutive Tests for Australia (62), and a total of 86 caps.

Roff represented Australia in three Rugby World Cups including the Wallabies’ World Cup victory in 1999. He was instrumental in Tri Nations victories in 2000 and 2001, and Bledisloe Cup victories from 1998 to 2002. He also played a crucial role in the Wallabies’ victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2001 – the first time that Australia defeated the Lions in a series – and was named Player of the Series.

In addition to his success in the Australian team, Roff was also an integral member of the ACT Brumbies team, playing 84 matches from 1996 to 2004. He won two Super 12 titles in 2001 and 2004 for the Brumbies, and at time of his retirement, held the record for the most number of tries in Super rugby (58 tries). Roff was named Australian player of the Tournament in 2001 and 2003.

Roff also played for French Champions Biarritz Olympique in 2001/2002, winning the French Championship in 2002, and played for Kubota Spears in Japan in 2005.

Following an illustrious professional rugby career, Roff went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, where he played in two Varsity matches at Twickenham in 2006, captaining the side in 2007.

Roff was inducted in to the ACT Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and is an Australian Rugby Union Ambassador.

Nick Stiles

Nick Stiles After leaving school, Nick Stiles represented the Souths in the Brisbane club competition before switching to The University of Queensland Rugby Football Club (UQRFC) in 1997, where he was made Club Captain – a role he held until he retired from playing in 2005.

A highly mobile loosehead prop, Stiles had a long career with the Queensland Reds from 1997 to 2005 including 96 caps.  

Stiles was selected in the Wallabies squad for the European tour in 2000, and made his Test debut against the Lions at the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 2001 – the first of three Tests in which Australia would achieve their first ever series win over the British and Irish Lions.

With Australia reigning as the Rugby World Cup champions, Stiles would play a crucial role for the Wallabies in defending their status and retaining both the Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations trophy in 2001.

After a decorated playing career including 12 Wallabies appearances, Stiles moved into coaching and was appointed Head Coach of The University of Queensland Premier Grade in 2006.

His ability as a professional player and his knowledge of the set piece set him up for fruitful coaching career, as he took his skills to Kubota in Japan and the Western Force, before returning home to Queensland.

Stiles took over as head coach of the St.George Queensland Reds ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season, after serving three seasons as the side's forwards coach.

Stiles has 12 years of coaching experience, including seven seasons in Super Rugby and two at the helm of National Rugby Championship side Brisbane City, which claimed back-to-back titles in the first two years of competition.

Past panellists

  • Dr Steve Cutler
  • John Eales AM
  • Con Foley
  • Mike Harris
  • James Horwill
  • Dr Mark Loane AM
  • Michael Lynagh AM
  • Andy McIntyre
  • Stephen Moore
  • Mike Petri
  • Nathan Sharpe
  • Mike Tolkin
  • Tim Usasz
  • The late Dan Vickerman