Mark McLinden

Mark McLinden
McLinden playing for Harlequins RL in 2007
Personal information
Born (1979-07-08) 8 July 1979
Canberra, ACT, Australia
Playing information
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 12 in)
Weight 86 kg (13 st 8 lb; 190 lb)
Rugby league
Position Fullback, Five-eighth, Halfback
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1998–04 Canberra Raiders 165 65 0 1 261
2005–08 Harlequins RL 72 28 0 1 113
Total 237 93 0 2 374
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2001 Country NSW 1 0 0 0 0
Rugby union
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2009 Queensland Reds 3 1 0 0 5
Source: RLP SL Stats

Mark McLinden (born 8 July 1979) is an Australian former professional rugby footballer of the 1990s and 2000s. He played rugby league in the National Rugby League (NRL) for Australian club, Canberra Raiders and in Super League for English club Harlequins, whom he also captained. A Country New South Wales representative backline player, McLinden finished his career in 2009 with a few rugby union games for the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby.

Rugby league career

Mark McLinden was born in Canberra, ACT, and played his early rugby at West Belconnen Warriors in the Canberra District Junior Rugby League. While attending Hawker College, McLinden played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1996 and 1997.[1]

In 1998, McLinden signed to play in the NRL for his local team Canberra Raiders. Following an impressive debut season, Mark was named NRL Rookie of the Year [2] and won the Raiders' player of the year award.

He also received representative honours with selection for the Australian Junior Kangaroos squad to play tests against New Zealand. In 2001 McLinden was selected to play in the City Country Origin for Country. During his 7 seasons at the Canberra Raiders, McLinden made 165 appearances, featuring in 5 play-off series.

Super League Career

McLinden in action for Harlequins RL

Mark McLinden signed for the London Broncos in November 2004[3] and was appointed team captain following on from Jim Dymock.[3] During 2005's Super League X, his first in Super League, Mark showed his versatility by appearing at Hooker, half back and full back.

In 2006's Super League XI, with his club now operating as Harlequins Rugby League, Mark was the club's leading Super League try scorer with 14 tries from 17 appearances. His season was, however, disrupted by a persistent back injury which required an operation in late 2006.[4]

McLinden had played much of his career at half-back, and with the arrival of Great Britain international Test full-back Chris Melling at the London club he played several games of 2007's Super League XII in the halves.

2007's Super League XII saw McLinden return from injury. However, he was replaced as captain by England international Rob Purdham.[5]

McLinden signed a three-year extension to his contract to keep him at Harlequins until the end of the 2009 season. However, in 2008 he suffered from a long debilitating illness which caused him to lose a lot of weight. As a result, he barely featured in Super League and he was released at the end of the year.

Before his switch to rugby union he was offered to play for the Ireland national rugby league team at the 2008 World Cup but declined in favour of Super 14 pre-season training.[6]

Rugby union career

He played rugby union for the Queensland Reds. He scored his first Super 14 try in his side's 22-3 win over South Africa's Cheetahs at Suncorp Stadium. Just before the 2009/2010 Super 14 season he retired from the game due to medical advice.


McLinden is a co-director of Animalates, an exercise program for children aged 4–11, combining Pilates, yoga, aerobics and dance with an animal characters theme.[7]

Animalates is an official sponsor of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club[8] and Oxford United F.C..[9]


  1. "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  2. Harlow, Phil (2005-09-12). "From Canberra to Brentford". BBC. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  3. 1 2 "Broncos sign Raiders scrum-half". BBC. 2004-11-08. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  4. "Harlequins suffer triple setback". BBC. 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  5. "Harlequins & Hull name skippers". BBC. 2007-01-22. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  6. "Super 14 shot put ahead of League World Cup". AAP. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  7.; Retrieved 20 September 2013
  8. ; Retrieved 20 September 2013
  9. ; Retrieved 20 September 2013
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