Super Rugby


Vale Stan Pilecki

The Queensland and Australian Rugby community is in mourning following the passing of former Queensland and Wallabies prop Stan Pilecki, at the age of 70.

Stan passed away earlier today following a short period of ill health, in the company of his two daughters at his Jindalee home. 

Having made his debut for Queensland on the 10th of January 1970, in a match against Mid-Canterbury, becoming Queensland representative no.843, Pilecki went on to become the first player to notch 100 caps for the state. Pilecki finished his illustrious career with a grand total of 122 appearances for Queensland, and 18 Test caps for the Wallabies. 

The Pilecki Medal, named after Stan, is awarded to the St.George Queensland Reds ‘Player’s Player’ each year, in honour of his long standing contribution to the game in Queensland. 

Stan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his services to Rugby Union in 2015 and also elected a life member of the QRU in the same year. He proudly attended the launch of Queensland’s Cap Project in January 2017 to receive his official QRU Cap along with other state legends, past and present. 

Known as ‘The Pole’ throughout his playing career, Stan was born in Augustdorf, Germany in 1947 to Polish parents, who migrated to Queensland when Stan was just three-years of age. 

Stan was first introduced to the game of Rugby at his school, Marist Brothers Rosalie, before being first connected with his beloved Wests Rugby club at the age of 15. Stan played a total of 221 A grade games for Wests throughout his time at the club, and was both Wests’ and Marist Brothers Rosalie’s first Wallaby representative. 

While developing his tough nature working on oil rigs in his early adult life, Stan toiled away in his first few years at Wests in the lower grades, before progressing to first grade in 1967. He packed down in the front-row alongside John Ryan and Lyn Crowley, all three having made significant contributions to Queensland Rugby. 

During the mid-70s, Stand made the move to Rockhampton where he worked for Central Queensland Building estimator K.D. Morris while playing in the local competition for Frenchville Pioneers. 

Upon returning to Wests, he was awarded a life membership in 1978 and earned his first Test cap against Wales at the age of 31, lining up alongside Queensland greats including Tony Shaw, Mark Loane, Greg Cornelsen, Paul Mclean, Paddy Batch and Andrew Slack in the ‘Green & Gold’. 

Stan earned a further 17 Test caps for the Wallabies between 1978 and 1984, playing under noted coaches including Bob Templeton, Bob Dwyer and Alan Jones. 

After hanging up the boots at the age of 41 in 1988, Stan continued to contribute to the game in Queensland through coaching, volunteering and mentoring emerging talent across the state. 

Queensland Rugby Union CEO Richard Barker said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Stan’s family at this difficult time and the whole Queensland Rugby community is coming to terms with this loss. 

“Stan leaves a great void in our game and he has made a huge contribution to the development and success of Rugby, not just in Queensland, but across Australia and beyond. 

“Stan epitomised everything that is great about our game and the passion of Rugby people.” 

The funeral of Stan Pilecki will be held on Wednesday 3 January 2018 from 11:00am at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane. All family, friends and community are then invited to proceed to the official wake at Wests Bulldogs Rugby Club, Sylvan Road, Toowong.

Should family and friends desire, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in the form of donations to the Heart Foundation.

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