The Queensland Rugby community is in mourning following the death of former Queensland and Wallabies representative Michael ‘Mick’ Purcell early yesterday morning aged 70.
Michael represented Queensland between 1965 and 1967, and in that time he earned three Test caps for the Wallabies. He won his first Test cap in the Wallabies’ maiden victory over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park in 1966, where he featured in the starting XV at blindside flanker.
Michael’s Rugby career began at Brisbane’s St. Columban’s College where he played flyhalf, before moving to St. Joseph’s Nudgee College where he played in the second row for the first XV.
Upon leaving school, Michael joined Brothers Rugby Club in Albion where he made the move to the back-row, representing the Queensland Under-18 side at Number 8 in 1963. He then progressed to the senior Queensland side making his debut against NSW in Bathurst in 1965.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Brothers’ 1966 Grand Final win over University in Queensland Premier Rugby, which saw Michael’s Brethren secure a 36-9 win over the students in what would be the last Grand Final played at the Normanby fields, before Queensland Rugby Union made the move to Ballymore.
Following his last Test match against Ireland in 1967, which saw Michael play in the second-row, a broken wrist later that year signalled the end of Michael’s Rugby career at age 21, as he made the decision to focus on finishing a law degree and moving into practice.
Michael commenced his legal career with Brisbane firm Walsh, Halligan and Douglas and became a senior partner. He later joined national legal firm HWL Ebsworth where he worked up until late 2015.
He is survived by his wife Marina, son Kieran and daughter Claire.
Information on funeral arrangements will be provided following confirmation from the Purcell family