Mark Gasnier – Brilliant Career Marred By Controversy

Mark Gasnier was born on July 19, 1981 and raised in Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. He is one of the young and popular professional football players in Australia. He plays for the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the National Rugby League.

He is also known to be the nephew of the famous Rugby League legend, Reg Gasnier. Reg Gasnier is named as one of the 20th century's finest players. After his football playing career, he also became a football coach.

Mark Gasnier played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1998 and 1999, while he attended high school at the famous Peakhurst High School. He then toured New Zealand with the Australian Schoolboys in 1998.

Gasnier debuted in his junior rugby league playing for the Renown United club in the St George District. Mark Gasnier made his 1st Grade debut for the Dragons in the round 8 of the 2000 season against the Newcastle Knights and made his International debut in a 2001 Test match against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls and scored a try in each match.

In 2004, Mark Gasnier was taken out of the New South Wales State of Origin team because of a harsh and controversial phone message he sent.

In 2005, after trudging himself as the best center of the team, he won the Dally M Center of the Year. In that same year, it was reported that Mark Gasnier would be able to progress to rugby union. Gasnier entertained highly publicized meetings with New South Wales Waratahs Coach, Ewen McKenzie and Wallaby Coach, John Connolly. Nonetheless, he finally signed for a new one year contract, with added one year options for the next four years with the St George Illawarra Dragons. In 2006, he once again won the Dally M Center of the Year.

At the start of 2007 it was reported that Mark Gasnier, together with Jason Ryles and Ben Hornby would captain the St George Illawarra Dragons. Gasnier was moved to five-eighth position for the Dragons, even though he was famous for being the center.

After tackling with Nigel Vagana in the Charity Shield pre-season finals, Mark Gasnier unfortunately tore his pectoral muscle. As a consequence, he was not able to play until July. Gasnier made a big comeback to the St. Louis George Illawarra Dragons on July 21 in the five-eighth position. Fortunately, the team won against the Penrith Panthers with a score of 38 – 20.

He was chosen to play for the Australian Kangaroos in October against the New Zealand Kiwis in Wellington.

Gasnier became the sole captain of the Dragons for the season of 2008. He came back to the center position with Matt Cooper.
He is now chosen to join the New South Wales Rugby league team for the 2011 State of Origin series.