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Determined to push the game forward in the midst of external threats, Nicholas Shehadie was one of the principal driving forces in establishing the Rugby World Cup.
The former Australian Rugby Union president (1980-87) and New Zealand’s Richard Littlejohn co-chaired a feasibility study on hosting a tournament that both countries felt would herald a new dawn for the sport. Despite some opposition, the International Rugby Football Board voted in favour of their proposals at its annual meeting in Paris in 1985.
Prior to becoming a rugby administrator and Lord Mayor of Sydney he also served as Wallabies team manager and selector. Shehadie also enjoyed a distinguished playing career and he retired in 1958 as the most-capped Wallaby of all-time with 30 caps to his name. The Randwick forward captained Australia on several occasions, including three tests. In 1958 he made history as the first to play for the Barbarians against his own country.