Vale Terry Willis

by Waratahs Media

The NSW rugby community is mourning the death of Honorary Life Member and revered administrator, Terry Willis who passed away after a battle with illness.


Willis was a competitive swimmer and water polo player in his younger days as well as a keen rugby player, originally with Eastwood and later with Penrith where he played first grade as a feisty breakaway.


Terry would become a stalwart of Penrith Rugby Club over his lifetime of involvement in the game, balancing his commitment to administrative roles in Australian and World Rugby as well as his career as a barrister.


In 1992, Terry was appointed Chairman of the NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) Judiciary, in 1996 he was named a Judicial Member of the International Rugby Board (now known as World Rugby) and dealt with references for players cited or sent off in international matches.


In 2000, he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in recognition of his contribution to rugby over many years.


Willis was the Judicial Officer for the 2003 Rugby World Cup (RWC), Commonwealth Youth Games, the British and Irish lions Tour of NZ, Test and Super Rugby games – as well as always overseeing Monday night judiciary hearings during the Sydney Rugby Union season.


Willis worked on Rugby World Cups in a judicial capacity until 2015 and up until his illness had been long involved in setting the policies and processes which apply to judiciaries the world over.


He last dealt with an international hearing in May 2019, shortly before he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.


Terry became an honorary life member of NSW Rugby Union in 2014 for his services to the game, until his death Terry was the incumbent NSWRU Judiciary Chairman a position he held since 1992.


NSWRU and the entire rugby community send their condolences to the Willis family during this difficult time.