This is the story of a football champion who crammed more highs and lows into an 11 - year career than just about any player of his generation. Mark Gasnier sits in the corner of the dressing - room at the Sydney Football Stadium, looks at his Dragons teammates and shakes his head. Another lost finals match. Another premature exit. Another opportunity gone. They've been in this dark place before, but his time it is different. Gasnier knows its terminal. A contract dispute that has been torturing him for two years, having gouged away half his earnings, cannot be reconciled. The next morning, he boards a plane for France and is certain he will never play rugby league again.
This is the story of a football champion who crammed more highs and lows into an 11 - year career than just about any player of his generation. Carrying the surname of his uncle and Immortal Reg, he had blinding pace, a shimmy, a step and an innate sense of timing. Whether it was for St George Illawarra, NSW or Australia, he could seemingly sniff out a try at will. As former NSW coach Phil Gould once remarked: ''Mark Gasnier, the best centre I have seen.''
Yet for a game that came to him so naturally, Gasnier's career was never so straightforward. His famous bloodlines and the notorious hoodoo that had seen the Dragons fail to win a premiership in three decades meant the weight of expectation never went away. A drunken phone call during a NSW bonding session that led to his sacking on the eve of his Origin debut, the curse of injury and the ultimate decision to walk away from the game and play rugby union for Paris glamour club Stade Francais only add to his complex journey.
Those obstacles only made the finish - when he returned to the NRL to win the grand final with St George Illawarra - sweeter ... before he shocked everyone again with the early announcement of his retirement. Throughout his career, Gasnier was guarded with the media.
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Over his long career, good judges have rated Gasnier as being the equal of his uncle, league Immortal Reg Gasnier. In fact, Phil Gould once described him as the best centre he had ever seen. The man with one of the most famous names in Rugby League history was always going to have to play throughout his career with a certain level of expectation. Fortunately Mark has not disappointed. Though to be fair, Mark did disappoint many of the St George faithful, when after over 8 years with the Dragons, as well as several games with the Blues and Kangaroos, he left the club to link up with French Rugby Union side Stade Francais. Halfway through 2010, Gasnier declared his intentions to return to League, and signed a new deal with the Dragons. Initially skeptical, fans were quickly swayed as Mark helped St. George Illawarra repeat their Minor Premiers title, and then go on to Grand Final glory. Mark is now retired from the game and lives in Sydney with his wife and child.
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Book Description ReadHowYouWant, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Large Print 16 pt. Bookseller Inventory # SONG1459645243