Larry O'Malley

Larry O'Malley

Larry O'Malley
Full name Lawrence O'Malley
Date of birth 23 April 1883
Place of birth Ireland
Date of death 31 July 1967
Place of death Paddington, New South Wales
Rugby league career
Position Second Row Forward
Professional clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Eastern Suburbs
Eastern Suburbs
62 (42)
State Representation
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1908–1913 New South Wales 9 (6)
National teams
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1908–1909 Australia 5 (0)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Forward
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team

East Borough Rugby Club
Sydney Rugby Union Club

Larry 'Jersey' O'Malley (1883–1967) was a pioneer Australian rugby league player for the Eastern Suburbs club. He was the fifth Australian rugby league captain and the second from the Eastern Suburbs Club.

Before switching codes and joining the Eastern Suburbs club in rugby league's foundation year, 1908, O'Malley played rugby union firstly for the East Borough and then the Sydney Rugby Union Clubs in 1906-07


  • Rugby league career 1
  • Representative career 2
  • Referee 3
  • Playing record 4
  • Sources 5

Rugby league career

Born in Ireland in 1883, he arrived in Australia with his parents and older brother the following year aboard the Selkirkshire as assisted immigrants. The family settled in Paddington, and Larry played Rugby with the local juniors. He gained his nickname of 'Jersey' because of his red hair.

Larry 'Jersey' O'Malley played with Eastern Suburbs for six seasons: 1908,1909 and 1911-1914, and played over 50 first grade games. O'Malley had a reputation as a tough 'no nonsense' forward.

Representative career

He made his representative debut for New South Wales in rugby league's inaugural interstate match in 1908. Later that year he was selected for Australia's first 'Kangaroo Tour'. He played in 34 matches including all three Tests and was sent off twice in matches on the tour. His 34 game effort stands as the record for the most matches played on a Kangaroo tour. The following season he captained Australia in two Test Matches against New Zealand.

During the 1908 'Kangaroo Tour' O'Malley signed with the English club, Warrington for the 1910 English season. He returned to Australia and enjoying successive premierships with the Eastern Suburbs club in 1911, 1912 and 1913. He was also a member of the Eastern Suburbs side that won the City Cup in 1914.


O'Malley retired from playing the game at the end of the 1914 season but went on to become a first grade referee.
Jerse (3rd row seated far right) Pioneer Kangaroos 1908-09

Playing record

  • Club: Eastern Suburbs 1908-09 and 1911–14) 62 games, 4 tries
  • Representative: Australia (1908–09) 5 Tests, and New South Wales (1908–13) 9 appearances.


  • Whiticker, Alan (2004) Captaining the Kangaroos, New Holland, Sydney
Preceded by
Dally Messenger
Australian national rugby league captain
Succeeded by
Robert Graves