Full Name: Gregory John Martin
Date of Birth: 30/06/1963
Place of Birth: Brisbane
School Attended: Brisbane Grammar School
Wallaby Number: 678
Test Cap: 9
Non-Test Cap: 11
Test Points: 12 (3 tries)
Position Played: Fullback
State: QLD (1983-91)
Clubs: Queensland University
Tours: 1987 ARG, 1989 FR, 1990 NZ, 1991 NZ
Greg Martin first gained his reputation as a brilliant, running and defensive fullback for his Brisbane club -University. A reputation he enhanced while playing for Queensland and Australia.
He was always a “thinker” about his game and this knowledge, coupled with his ability, has enabled him to continue his involvement in the game and particularly in his role as a commentator on Pay-TV and as a sought-after after-dinner speaker noted for his wicked sense of humour.
In his playing days at University he was acknowledged by his team- mates as a real match winner and a master of all the tricks of the trade. Using his space and step , made him a hard man to stop and he had a wonderful ability to chime into a back line. This attack was equally matched by his excellent defence and a big left foot kick which frequently relieved pressure. Qualities which, in turn , he also used when playing for his State and his Country.
Martin made his debut as a Wallaby in the first Test against the touring British Lions in July 1989, a game in which he is remembered for scoring a brilliant try in the second half.
He went on to play another ten Tests and eleven mid-week games. Unfortunately for himself he was a player when Australia was blessed by Roger Gould and David Campese, who was frequently selected at fullback rather than winger which meant that Martin was often relegated to the reserves.
One reluctant claim to fame which involved Campese occurred in the third Test against the Lions in 1989. It was Greg Martin who was the unfortunate recipient of the famous “now pass” from David Campese. An action which he readily acknowledges was his fault.
Campese caught the ball and went to run but but then unexpectedly “passed” the ball to Martin. It hit him on the shoulder , then bounced forward where it was swooped on by the Lions winger Ieuan Evans, who went on to score an opportunist try.
The fact that the Lions won this Test 19-18, meant that the incident made head- lines for a long period of time. And that Greg Martin is often remembered as being part of it.
Unfortunately a number of injuries hampered Martin’s selection prospects during his playing career. In a trial match pre-tour for the Wallabies against a combined ACT/NSW Country Team he suffered a bad injury to his knee which meant he needed to be replaced for the tour - a serious injury which was to cost him the next two years of his of his playing career. He was forced to wait until 1987 to renew his well-deserved representative honours when selected again to be part of the Australian team which was to tour South America.
It is justly considered by many that Greg Martin was the victim of injuries because of the whole-hearted way he played his games, which caused him to miss numerous games at all levels.
It was to be another tour to Argentina and Chile as a member of the Queensland Team under John Connolly which was to herald in what is regarded as a golden era of his playing time , finally able to overcome the crippling injuries which had plagued his earlier years of his career and to play some of the best football , that he was always capable of.
He was part of this WONDER TEAM which in 1990 saw Queensland win 11 games with only one loss (to Auckland) and in which Martin was an important and vital member.
It was on this tour to Chile that Greg Martin earned the reputation and nickname as ‘Spiderman’ (a name coined by Wayne Smith, one of the leading rugby writers in Australia). Earned when he made his famous ride on the roof of a taxi in Santiago when the group after a night out together and wanting to return to their hotel, was considered too many by the taxi-driver.
In his playing days he was also privileged to be selected in a World XV which was to tour South Africa as part of their Centenary celebrations, which was testament to the opinion that many in the International scene, had of him.
Sadly he was forced to give away all football in the prime of his life when he contracted a disorder of the blood system which meant any scratches or abrasions could have proved life-threatening.
Full Name: Acura Sabaria Niuqila
Date of Birth: 31/01/1961
Place of Birth: Wainibokasi, Fiji
School Attended: Lami School, Suva, Fiji
Wallaby Number: 674
Test Cap: 3
Non-Test Cap: 6
Test Points: 12 (3 tries)
Position Played: Winger
State: NSW 12 (1988-90)
Clubs: Parramatta, Randwick
Tours: 1988 Europe
‘Accie’ Niuqila was Fijian born. John Brewer and Max Howell, in their unpublished History of the Randwick Club , had this to say of him: ‘He was a Fijian international fly-half when he joined Randwick in 1986 and played most of the season in that position. He later moved to the wing, where his speedy and elusive running brought him many tries. He played 176 club games from 1986 to 2001, scoring 87 tries and 4 penalty goals [389 pts.]. His 127 first grade games produced 72 tries and 4 penalty goals [314 pts.]. He turned to rugby league at the end of the 1991 season, but then resumed his career with Randwick in 1994. He was a member of six first grade grand final sides [in 1986 to 1991] and was on the losing side only once, in 1986, and also played in the 1994 and 1996 premiership winning reserve grade sides. He was the club’s leading try-scorer in first grade in 1986 with 6 tries, in 1989[ 6, equal with Brad Burke], 1989  and 1991 , an outstanding record.
“Niuqila was a top Sevens player, and tended to apply seven a side principles to orthodox rugby. He represented Australia twice at the Hong Kong sevens [in 1988 and 1989]...In retirement he assisted in coaching lower grade Randwick sides.”
He first played against Australia for Fiji in 1984, at the National Stadium, Suva, won by the visitors 16 to 3. Then the following year he played five-eighth for Fiji against Australia at Ballymore (52-25, a try) and at the SCG (31-9),
It was the next year when he came to Australia and played for Randwick. Extremely fast and elusive, and versatile,he loved it when the ball was being moved, and could hardly wait to get it in hand.
His biggest year representative-wise in Australia was in 1988. He got a run on the wing that year for NSW against England at Waratah Stadium. The ‘Blues’ shocked England, winning 23 to 12, and Niuqila scored a fine try. He had great acceleration and often left men standing around him.
He played on the wing for Randwick against the 1988 All Blacks, an exciting match that resulted in a 25 to 9 victory for the visitors. Eddie Jones, future Australian coach, was hooker in this match.
Next up was Australia ‘A’ against this NZ team. It was a 4 to 28 loss, and Niuqila scored another try.
His consistency and ability to score put him on the 15-match tour of England, Scotland and Italy with the Wallabies. Niuqila played in eight of the matches, including two Tests. He went up against Northern Division (9-15), South and South West Division (10-26), Combined England Students (36-13, try), Edinburgh (25-19, try), South of Scotland (29-4, 2 tries), Scotland (32-13), the Barbarians (40-22, try) and Italy at Rome (55-6, 3 tries). He averaged a try a game, which is an outstanding performance. He did not play against England, James Grant and David Campese occupying the two wing slots.
However he made his Australian Test debut against Scotland. His three-try effort against Italy was pure magic.
In 1989 the British Isles toured Australia, and, playing for Australia ‘A’, on the wing, he scored again. He knew how to get to the try-line. The Brits won 23 to 18. He also played for NSW against them, losing 21 to 23.
When the first Test was played, Niuqila was picked on the wing, and Australia won 30 to 12. Though he did not score, he was a constant threat.
Surprisingly, this would be Niuqila’s last Test. The 1984 Grand Slam winger, Ian Williams, replaced him. At 28 years of age, his representative career was over.
A dual international for Fiji and Australia, Niuqila played for Australia in three Tests and six non-Test matches. He played 12 games for NSW 1998 to 1990.
Full Name: Dominic John Maguire
Date of Birth: 2/07/1964
Place of Birth: Brisbane
School Attended: Padua College, Brisbane
Wallaby Number: 677
Test Cap: 3
Non-Test Cap: 9
Test Points: 4 (1 try)
Position Played: Centre
State: QLD (1989-92)
Tours: 1989 FR, 1990 NZ
Dominic Maguire, a 24 -year -old computer programmer, expected to be playing the organ for his brother, Patrick, at his wedding on 1st July 1989. Instead, he found himself scoring a try on debut for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions at the Sydney Football Stadium. Then, 20 minutes after the end of the match, Maguire was hurrying off the airport to catch a flight back to Brisbane for the wedding reception.
Not only was his selection a surprise to Maguire himself, but it also came like a bolt from the blue to rugby supporters in general, since he was preferred to more seasoned outside centres in Anthony Herbert and ACT’s Brad Girvan.
Born on 2nd July 1964 at Brisbane, Dominic Maguire attended Padua College at Kedron, one of Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Naturally, he gravitated to play club rugby for Brothers, a powerful club, well served for backs with Ross Hanley, Brendan Moon and Paul Mills. By 1985, the 21- year -old Maguire was playing centre for Brothers in the third grade grand final. In the following year, he had a few first grade games when Hanley and Moon were absent and then established himself at outside centre in partnership with Paul Mills, a fine player who deserved more State appearances.
Compactly built at 180cms and weighing 82kgs, Maguire developed a reputation as a strong tackling centre. Named as a reserve for Queensland B against England in 1988 at Gold Park in Toowoomba, Maguire came on as a replacement when Mills was forced off the field. Maguire was retained for Queensland B’s tour match later in the season against the All Blacks at Hugh Street Park in Townsville. The fiery tourists gave the B side a 39-3 hammering which did not give Maguire much of an opportunity to impress.
Overlooked for Queensland’s 26-man squad for the early season tour of Argentina in 1989, Maguire was rushed into the Reds for the opening match of the South Pacific Championship against Canterbury at inside centre in place of Richard Tombs. Queensland beat Canterbury 16-6 and Maguire then featured in each of the next eight games for the Reds in partnership with Anthony Herbert. Despite the threat posed by the new stars, Tim Horan and Jason Little, Queensland’s coach stuck with Maguire and Herbert, who were both performing well.
With a dominant forward pack and well served by Peter Slattery and Michael Lynagh, the Reds won all eight fixtures, which included two crushing defeats of New South Wales, 31-3 and 31-0. Maguire possessed a wide range of polished skills, which he demonstrated when he slipped a short ball for Jeff Miller’s try in Queensland’s 31-0 triumph on the mudheap at Concord Oval.
After such a sparkling season, Maguire was chosen to partner Brad Girvan in the centres for Australia B’s tour match against the Lions in Melbourne. This was Tim Horan’s first senior game and he was placed at five-eighth. In this fierce match, Horan and Maguire stood out in stopping countless charges by the tourists’ back row of Dean Richards, John Jeffrey and Andy Robinson.
Then Maguire turned out for the Reds against the Lions at Ballymore. The home side was very confident of beating the Lions but emerged shell shocked after the Lions bashed and beat them 19-15. Although in a well-beaten team, Maguire and Herbert were outstanding in defence.
Maguire’s particularly strong defence for Australia A followed up by strong defence in Queensland’s tour game proved the key to his Test selection ahead of the more fancied Herbert and Girvan. The selectors were concerned with stopping the attacking forays of the brilliant Scottish fullback, Gavin Hastings, hence Maguire’s selection as one of three new caps. The others were Greg Martin at fullback and Dan Crowley at tighthead prop. Tim Horan was named as a reserve.
With the Lions missing several key players, the Wallabies enjoyed a dream run and won by 30 points to 12. Maguire played solidly and was rewarded with a try on debut. In the 57th minute, from a scrum, Lynagh received and looped around Campese before sending Maguire over for the first of Australia’s four tries.
While the Lions made five changes for the second Test at Ballymore, their counterparts brought in Ian Williams for Arcura Niuqila on the wing. In a repeat of their performance against Queensland, the Lions employed strong- arm tactics and unsettled the Wallabies to win by 19 points to 12. Maguire, employed to stop the midfield bursts from Gavin Hastings, was palmed off by the big fullback who accepted a short pass from his brother, Scott Hastings, to give the Lions the lead 13-12. The Lions eventually won 19-12.
Greg Martin thought that the inclusion of Scott Hastings made a big difference to the Lions because he organised the backline and created more problems for Maguire than Mike Hall and Brendan Mullin had posed in Sydney. Nevertheless, Maguire retained his place at outside centre in an unchanged team for the deciding Test in Sydney.
The third Test match will always be remembered for a wayward pass by David Campese that was pounced on by Ieuan Evans for a try that eventually clinched, for the Lions, a 19-18 victory and the series. With the Australian forwards outplayed in scrums and lineouts, Maguire had little usable ball and the match became something of a penalty shootout.
Back in 1904, the NSWRU had suggested scrapping the third Test against ‘Darkie’ Bedell-Sivright’s British team and fielding a combined Australian and New Zealand team. The NZRU refused the offer as they had a Test match against the tourists later on. On the 1989 Lions tour, the idea was revived with the suggestion that a team styled the Anzacs should play the Lions in the last match of their tour – a sort of Barbarians finale. The idea was all very well but the leading All Blacks, apart from Steve McDowell, did not participate - no fewer than 12 All Blacks withdrew.
Maguire, down to play his sixth match against the Lions in just his first season in first class rugby, partnered Frano Botica in the centres for the Anzacs and played soundly but for one incident when he took one step too many before passing. This delay allowed the Lions defence to re-group and a possible try was lost. The ball retention by the Anzacs was deplorable and they were defeated by 19 points to 15.
In the result, the Wallaby selectors made sweeping changes for the one-off Test against the All Blacks with a new front row and Tim Horan replacing Maguire. Still, there was an end of year tour of Canada and France and Maguire was included along with Jason Little. Although he played in four provincial games, Maguire missed the Tests through the advent of the famous Little and Horan partnership, which was to dog Maguire’s fortunes, both for the Reds and the Wallabies, over the next few seasons.
During the 1989 season when Maguire and Herbert were performing so well for the Reds, John Connolly decided to stick with them unless somebody gave him a very good reason to sway from them. That somebody happened to be Tim Horan. In Queensland’s opening match of the 1990 season against Western Samoa in Apia, Horan produced some Horan magic to burst past three defenders, kick ahead and re-gather for his first try for the Reds. Dominic Maguire was reserve for the game and he knew almost instantly that his career was almost over.
So in the 1990 season, Horan and Little were the preferred centres for Queensland and Australia. When Horan injured his knee in the first Test against France in Sydney, Maguire was called up for the Reds’ tour match against the French. The game was another penalty shoot-out affair with little chance for Maguire to show out, as the Reds won 15-3 on Lynagh’s boot.
The ACT’s Paul Cornish took Horan’s place in the remaining Tests with Maguire back in the Queensland B team with Anthony Herbert in the clash with the touring USA team. When the Wallaby team was chosen to make a 12-match tour of New Zealand, Maguire was initially omitted but received a late call- up when Jason Little withdrew. Playing in five provincial matches, Maguire scored tries against West Coast-Buller and Taranaki.
After playing three matches for the Reds in the 1990 domestic season, Maguire was given just two games on Queensland’s tour of England and France in December that year to compete in the World Provincial Championship. He was not called on at all in the domestic season that followed.
With the world class Horan and Little dominating the centre positions for Queensland and Australia, Maguire gave some thought to retiring before the start of the following season. However, he decided to get back into full swing and capitalise on any opportunities that came his way. Sadly for him, precious few chances came his way in 1992. During the season, Maguire warmed the reserves bench for seven matches but there was one fateful night in May when he was called on as a replacement against Canterbury on a freezing cold Lancaster Park. Some of the squad suffered hypothermia and all suffered from the cold. Despite the arctic conditions, the Reds won 26-10. This was Maguire’s last appearance for Queensland.
Between 1989 and 1990, Maguire played 12 matches for the Wallabies, including three Test matches. After making ten appearances for the Reds in his initial season in 1989, Maguire finished with a total of just 16 caps by the end of 1992, thanks to the advent of Horan and Little. There is no doubt that Dominic Maguire was a talented centre, but Little and Horan were in the genius class.
Full Name: Lloyd Frederick Walker
Date of Birth: 7/01/1959
Place of Birth: Sydney
School Attended: Matraville HS, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 671
Test Cap: 8
Non-Test Cap: 7
Test Points: 8 (2 tries)
Position Played: Centre
State: NSW 25 (1985-93)
Tours: 1988 Europe, 1992 UK
Edinburgh 1988. Bruce McLaren, the renowned TV commentator, although known to take a ‘wee-dram’, never allowed such an activity to cloud his vision, possessing a fine appreciation of rugby. During an international between Australia and Scotland in which the Wallabies were scoring fairly freely, Bill suggested to his associate Nigel Harmer-Smith that a lot of the Australian attacking play seemed to emanate from ‘that big fellow playing inside centre’. Holes in the defence were constantly appearing and the Australian backs were forever sliding through.
The ‘big fellow’ was Lloyd Walker, and should you take time to discuss Walker with those who played with and against him, you will come immediately aware of the high regard in which he is held. His great contemporary, Mark Ella, regarded him with reverence. Critics suggested he was too slow and awkward, yet those very failings were invariably utilised to his advantage.
Walker possed extraordinary ball handling skills, a softness of touch and a unique sense of timing and space that mesmerised his opponents. Above all, he was the master of the two attributes that only great inside backs possess. He could function best at the gain line and he always ran parallel to the sideline and never encroached upon his outsiders. His ability to show the ball and then withdraw it attracted the attention of several would-be defenders, and then at the salient moment he would slip a soft pass to an unmarked team-mate, leaving his opponents in total disarray. He possessed a wonderfully deceptive dummy, would beat his opposites and then send out one of his beautiful passes.
The author coached Lloyd at both Matraville High and later at Randwick, and I used to tell my outside backs to simply run close to Walker, keep their hands out in front and Lloyd will hit them.
Walker was a joy to watch, and provided admiring spectators with many treasured moments. Two that particularly stand out was when he represented Australia against New Zealand in an Under 21 international at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1980. He sold a dummy which was bought by 29 players, the referee, both touch judges and all the crowd, all of whose attention was drawn to the eastern sideline, only to find a bemused Walker sitting on the ball under the sticks. In the same match he and David Campese were running up the sideline exchanging passes until finally Campese scored. Nothing exceptional there, other than on two occasions Walker, rather than turning to catch passes behind him simply conveyed them on by catching and passing them behind his back without changing pace or direction – Phenomenal!
Unfortunately, Walker’s great ability at either flyhalf or inside centre was not recognised until later in his career, however his creativity saw him play 26 times for NSW from 1985 to 1993 and eight times for Australia in 1988-1989. He featured in 10 Randwick grand finals from 1981 to 1994 and in his last year he was the victorious captain.
He captained Matraville 1st XV and was a member of the school’s winning Waratah Shield teams in 1976 and 1977. Rarely injured, he played 278 club games with Randwick, having represented NSW CHS and Sydney Under 16s.He enjoyed his aboriginality but woe to him who mistook his gentle and happy nature as softness. His quick hands and large frame were not to be taken lightly.
He created much interest with various Rugby League clubs but though tempted he stayed faithful to rugby, and after retirement has been involved with coaching both school and senior teams.
Full Name: David Ian Campese
Date of Birth: 21/10/1962
Place of Birth: Queanbeyan, NSW
School Attended: Queanbeyan HS, NSW
Wallaby Number: 623
Test Cap: 101
Non-Test Cap: 54
Test Points: 315 (64 tries, 8 cons, 7 pg, 2 dg)
Position Played: Winger, Fullback
State: ACT 11 (1981-86), NSW 56 (1987-98)
Clubs: Queanbeyan (ACT), Randwick, Petrarca (Italy), Amatori (Italy)
Tours: 1982 NZ, 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1988 Europe, 1989 FR,
1990 NZ, 1991 WC, 1992 SA, 1992 UK, 1993 FR, 1995 WC
From his first Test in 1982 until the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the unpredictable, mercurial genius of the goose-step mesmerised fans the world over with his high-risk style. Campese thrived on space - give him a gap and he would score. Never a slave to boring set-piece moves, he invented his own, with a unique blend of exciting skills.
He was a thorn in the side of every team he played against – elusive, ubiquitous, daring and different. From the unknown Canberra fullback who set tongues wagging with his display against a New Zealand Under-21 side in a curtain-raiser to a Test match in 1982, he was something special. The selectors saw it, took a gamble and picked him for a tour to New Zealand. With his first touch of the ball in his debut Test, he evaded Wilson’s tackle and scored. It was the start of a fabulous career.
His high-risk style, with the signature goose-step change of pace, brought thousands through the gates and stamped him as the greatest running back of his generation, perhaps of all time. His world record tally of sixty-four tries in 101 Tests in a fifteen-year career with the Wallabies may never be equalled. He had that rare attribute of a champion, the ability to produce his best under the spotlight on the big occasion.
Australia v Argentina – the opening match of the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign in October, 1991. The Pumas made a game of it for the first twenty minutes, rarely allowing the Wallabies any possession.
Finally, a kick-through was fielded by Marty Roebuck. He counter-attacked, swerving out towards the left wing. He fed Campese – a step off the left foot, a step off the right and then a burst of blistering pace – he was through and over. Five minutes later and he was in again, this time chiming into the backline and scooting through a chink in the Pumas’ defence. In the second half he sent Tim Horan over for another try and the Wallabies were home, 32-19.
If Campese gave away one try he usually scored one and set up a couple more. During the World Cup quarter-final in 1991 against Ireland, Campese muffed a tackle and allowed Gordon Hamilton to score a memorable 50-metre try to give Ireland the lead with only four minutes on the clock. But then Campese, having already scored two tries, flipped up a pass for Michael Lynagh to cross wide out in the dying moments, to rescue the Wallabies 19-18.
He may have been born with natural flair, but he worked harder than anyone to improve his skills. He was a try-scoring machine, whether he was playing for Randwick, NSW or Australia. He took the same risks, backed himself and pulled games out of the fire with his sheer audacity and skill. In the 1984 Grand Slam finale at Murrayfield, he capped a brilliant Wallaby performance with a classic sidestepping try against the Baa-Baas.
Then there was Sevens. If he was good to watch in a fifteen-a-side Barbarians game, he was simply sublime in Sevens. With more space and less opposition, he often toyed with tacklers, showing all his skills in evading them before scoring with nonchalant ease.
No matter what kind of rugby he played, Campese was a match-winner. What’s more, he played with such obvious enjoyment that he inspired others to try to emulate him. His try-scoring feats were legendary – five in a match for NSW against Wales in 1991 and four in a Test, to equal Greg Cornelsen’s world record, against the USA in 1983. He preferred to play on the right wing and always wore number 11.
Unlike these days, when Wallaby stars hardly ever play for their club, Campese was fiercely loyal to Randwick, always turning out when he could. He was a member of the Galloping Greens’ first-grade premiership sides during their extraordinary streak from 1987-92, then again in 1994 and 1996.
Campese’s tally of sixty-four tries from 101 Tests makes him easily the highest try-scorer in the history of the game of international Rugby Union. The Player of the Tournament at the World Cup in 1991, he inspired the Wallabies to their first win in the tournament.
It was fitting that David Campese played his last Test in 1996 at Cardiff Arms Park, one of the world’s great rugby grounds which, like Campese, was coming to the end of its illustrious history. An outstanding Sevens exponent, Campese chose to finish his career as captain-coach of the Australian team at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
Full Name: Michael Patrick Thomas Lynagh
Date of Birth: 25/10/1963
Place of Birth: Brisbane
School Attended: Gregory Terrace College
Wallaby Number: 642
Test Cap: 72 (15 as Captain)
Non-Test Cap: 36
Test Points: 911 (17 tries, 140 cons, 177 pg, 9 dg)
Position Played: Flyhalf, Centre
State: QLD 100 (1982-95)
Clubs: Queensland University, Benetton (Italy), Saracens (England)
Tours: 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1989 FR,
1990 NZ, 1991 NZ, 1991 WC, 1992 SA, 1992 UK, 1993 FR, 1995 WC
Michael Lynagh was more than a ‘pure’ kicker, he was a phenomenal ball player with the moves of a magician when he wanted to use his full bag of tricks. He could sidestep, swerve, use change of pace, ‘read’ a game and control a match, and he could lift the morale of a team as he kept kicking points between the uprights. Even with his kicking, he was versatile, being equally good at place kicks, dropped goals, kicking for the line and putting up a garryowen. He was safe on defence and his hands were impeccable.
In 72 Tests, he amassed 911 points, comprising 17 tries, 140 conversions, 177 penalty goals and nine field goals, while for Queensland he scored 1166 points with 24 tries, 193 conversions, 205 penalty goals and 23 field goals in exactly 100 games.”
A schoolboy wonder at Gregory Terrace in both cricket and rugby, Michael also played a little American football.
When studying at the University of Queensland, and he immediately signed up with the University rugby team. He went straight into first grade and was immediately placed in the State training squad. He played for Queensland against the USA, and kicked two penalties in the 14 to 10 victory. He would kick 203 more penalty goals for Queensland in ensuing years.
A loss to the Argentine by Queensland followed, a 28-34 loss, and then he found himself on his first Wallaby tour, with Mark Ella as captain, to Italy and France. As captain, Ella was the number one five-eighth and Noddy performed in a supportive role, gaining invaluable experience in his three matches, but unfortunately broke his collar-bone at Agen and did not play again. Australian coach Alan Jones put Lynagh at inside centre. It was a calculated gamble, but it worked, mainly due to the athleticism and professionalism, in an amateur game, of Michael Lynagh.
History was made on that tour, the Grand Slam tour as it is called, as for the first time Australia won the four ‘home’ internationals. In the final match, against Scotland, Lynagh equalled the Australian points-scoring record. Noddy incredibly had posted exactly 200 points in only fifteen Tests, including twenty-three point hauls against France, Argentina and Canada and twenty-one points against Scotland.
In spite of his individual deeds, Lynagh was respected by his fellow Wallabies as a genuine team man. With Ella out of the picture prematurely, the gate had opened for Lynagh to be Australia’s dominant fly half. The year 1984 was rounded out playing against Canada, with two easy wins. The year 1986 was a big one for Noddy, and he was now linked with Nick Farr-Jones, and their pairing was to be legendary. He went on a month-long tour of the British Isles and Europe, then played the Hong Kong Sevens, and next went to England to play for a World XV and the Australian season had not even started.
Then followed Tests against Italy, France and Argentina, and following these a 14-match tour to New Zealand under Andrew Slack. It was tough being a student, and even tougher being a University student. But winning the Bledisloe Cup on this tour somehow made it all bearable.
1987 was the World Cup year, and Michael played in turn England, the USA, Japan and Ireland before being unexpectedly downed by France 24-30 in the semi-final. Motivation was at an all-time low in the play-off game in Rotorua, exacerbated by the send-off of David Codey. The Wallabies felt humiliated as they lost to Wales 21-22.
Following the World Cup “Noddy” departed on a nine-match tour of Argentina and Paraguay, with Simon Poidevin as captain.
It was another World Cup year in 1992, and in turn Australia beat Argentina, Western Samoa, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand and England. Just like George Gregan’s famous tackle and Mark Ella’s four tries in the Grand Slam Tour, Michael Lynagh’s decisions in the Irish Test which turned defeat into victory will ever be remembered. It occurred after the captain, Nick Farr-Jones, had to leave the field through injury, and the situation was hopeless.
It was after that, with the departure of Nick Farr-Jones from the scene, that he would at last captain Australia. But for the consistently brilliant captaincy of Andrew Slack and Nick Farr-Jones, the honour would surely have been his well before this. He would be captain for three years, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995.
His first excursion into this new zone of responsibility was when he captained a Wallaby team to Ireland, Wales and England, with Bob Dwyer as coach. After that tour, he captained Australia against Tonga in 1993, and then took the Wallabies to North America and France on an 11-month tour. Then in 1994 he captained the Wallabies against Ireland, Italy and W. Samoa.
At 31 years of age, he called it quits after captaining Australia against Argentina, and to the World Cup in South Africa, all in 1995. So was he successful with this new style, and his reticent personality? He was captain in 13 Tests, and won 10 of them. In actuality he captained Australia 19 times, and won 16 of them.
What is for certain, a genius showed his wares on the rugby grounds of the world from 1983 to 1995. He would play 104 matches for Australia, 72 of them as Tests. “Noddy” would also play exactly 100 games for Queensland.
Full Name: Nicholas Campbell Farr-Jones
Date of Birth: 18/04/1962
Place of Birth: Caringbah, Sydney
School Attended: Newington College, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 645
Test Cap: 63 (36 as Captain)
Non-Test Cap: 27
Test Points: 37 (9 tries)
Position Played: Halfback
State: NSW 46 (1984-91)
Clubs: Sydney University
Tours: 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1989 FR,
1990 NZ, 1991 NZ, 1991 WC, 1992 SA
Nick Farr-Jones was electric on the field, switching play from right to left like no other halfback in history, urging his forwards on, marshalling the backs, surging forward when the occasion demanded it, and cover-defending ferociously and with a natural fervour that simply cannot be taught.
It is always difficult to compare captains or halfbacks, as there have been periodic changes in the game, the most significant being that Australia in recent years has developed packs equal to any in the world. In the dim and distant past, Australian halfbacks worked off twenty to thirty percent possession from scrums and lineouts, and a different kind of halfback was required, one with unbelievable guts and the skills of a magician.
Farr-Jones could not sidestep with the audacity of a Cyril Burke, and lacked perhaps the elegance of Des Connor, the inspired running of Ken Catchpole or the marvellous cover defence of John Hipwell, but his all-round attributes were perfect for the modern game. Farr-Jones was an incomparable artist who covered the canvas with broad and confident strokes, not restricting his finished product to a particular school of artistry. Like Picasso and other greats, there was a variation in his work over time. What he was at the conclusion of his career was not what he was at the start.
The authorised biography of Nick Farr-Jones, by his friend, fellow Wallaby tourist Peter FitzSimons, paints to our mind a picture of the youngster as he was growing up as undisciplined, over-competitive, with an explosive temper. Nick’s father’s philosophy of life that he imparted to his sons is told in his biography: “Life is about winning. I wanted them to know that that’s what counts – to be competitive, to get better, to succeed.” In fairness to Nick he always gave the impression that he played the game to the ultimate maximum and could generally put any loss into the correct perspective.
There is no doubt that the family genes were right, mother and father being University Blues and grandfather being a gifted athlete, and certainly there was massive encouragement to find sporting outlets for an obviously physically talented and hyper-active youngster. Soccer, swimming and surfing, athletics, golf and cricket, even skiing, were all an essential part of Nick’s early life. He was fortunate to be born in a sports mad family.
Interestingly enough, Newington’s most famous rugby player never made the First XV at this school, a certain Murray McGavin being the choice of the coach. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, as Nick concentrated on his studies sufficiently to gain entrance to the alma mater of his parents to do Law, Sydney University.
While at the University Nick made the University Colts team, and in his second year boarded at St Andrew’s College. Sport provided him with a considerable outlet for his considerable energy, and when the Colts coach, Lindsay McCaughan, took over Sydney University’s First Grade team, Nick found himself as the first team’s scrum half.
Rugby politics and a disappointing start to the season by the firsts saw his coach displaced, first by Rupert Rosenblum and Johnny Rouen, and then by the one-and-only Dave Brockhoff. His own demise at halfback was only temporary, and was completely rejuvenated by ‘Brock’, a legend in coaching circles through his blood-and-guts approach and a conversation continually littered with extraordinary similes and metaphors. Chris Handy wrote of the infamous ‘Brock’ in Well I’ll Be Ruggered: “I found him to be different to say the least. His style could be described as bombastic buffoonery. He knew what he wanted, but he couldn’t explain it in simple terms. It was disguised by flowery phraseology that had you smirking or giggling when all was meant to be deadly serious. You tended to laugh at Brock rather than laugh with him.”
In 1984 Alan Jones, a virtual neophyte in coaching ranks, took over as national coach from Bob Dwyer. At the time Sydney University was relegated to the Sydney competition’s Second Division. On the surface it appeared as if the career of Nick Farr-Jones was on a slide, but the selectors at Sydney figured the youngster had the makings of a Test player, and selected him on a Sydney tour to Europe. As is often said, the rest is history.
Simon Poidevin was the Sydney captain on that fateful tour, and though he also recognised the latent talent of the University scrum half, he took it upon himself to talk to Nick about his undisciplined play, and off-the-field behaviour. And ever watching, in the background, was new coach Alan Jones, who had his own particular game plan in mind, and Farr-Jones met most of the criteria. In a fairy-tale year, a Second Division player was selected on the Wallaby tour to Fiji as the number two scrum half to the diminutive Phillip Cox. Though he did not force his way into the single Test, he almost did, and created a most favourable impression.
Farr-Jones, like the other Wallabies, was enormously impressed with their coach, and Jones, indulging in what is now referred to as ‘Jones-Speak’, continually exhorted all players to greater physical and mental challenges for the good of Australian Rugby. It was as if they were all caught up in a surging wave propelling them forward, this highly articulate man continually urging them to keep going. Chris Handy, in Well I’ll Be Ruggered, wrote that what Alan Jones “brought into our rugby was a professionalism that it really needed... He sought from their players an ultimate commitment.”
For the first All Black Test that year, which Australia won 16 to 9, Farr-Jones was a reserve. A sensation occurred in Sydney as eight of the team, the Test players, withdrew from Sydney’s upcoming encounter with the All Blacks. The press, and Sydney coach Peter Fenton, were staggered at the Jones-led decision, but it was fortuitous as it gave Farr-Jones the opportunity to play for Sydney against the All Blacks as he was only a reserve, and he showed he could mix it with the very best in the game. Nick was solidifying his own future by his on-field magic. Despite his evident claims, Nick was not selected for the remaining two All Black Tests. Australia narrowly lost the series 2 to 1.
In 1984 Farr-Jones was selected for the Wallaby tour to the UK, now known simply as the famous Grand Slam tour. Nick was now 22 –years- of -age and was reaching his physical maturity. What was becoming obvious what that with him at halfback, it was tantamount to having a third breakaway on the field because of his size and strength. Farr-Jones had an early opportunity to impress on tour as the incumbent Test halfback Phillip Cox had an injured shoulder, and Nick seized upon his unexpected good fortune in the first match against London Division, scoring a try and demonstrating his effectiveness with a fine, robust, all-round game.
Farr-Jones was never, in his career, averse to a little nocturnal activity, and after a night on the town in the UK he was summarily summoned to coach Alan Jones’ room and was subjected to a 20-minute tirade. The story is told in Nick Farr-Jones: “Who the HELL did Farr-Jones think he was, going out every night drinking? Did he think this was some two-bit Sydney University tour, where you could do whatever you liked? Did he think that a rugby tour was no more than just one big party? Did he want to be over here just as a back-up or did he have some ambition to play Test rugby and, if so, didn’t he think it could be a good idea to start focusing a bit more on football and a lot less on partying? Well didn’t he?” Nick had had his bum kicked, and thereafter concentrated on the task at hand.
To noone’s surprise after his continuing on-field performances, Nick Farr-Jones was selected for the first Test in the UK, and his first for Australia, against England. When victory ensued, and his ability became obvious for all to see, there was no longer any question as to who should be the Test scrum-half, and he played in all the subsequent Grand Slam Tests. His entree into the Test arena was certainly aided by the mercurial play of partner Mark Ella, whose basic instructions to Farr-Jones were simply to throw the ball in his direction.
The Australian team on 3 November 1984 against England at Twickenham was: Roger Gould, David Campese, Andrew Slack (capt.), Michael Lynagh, Brendan Moon (replaced by Matthew P Burke), Mark Ella, Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Tuynman, Simon Poidevin, Steve Williams, Steve Cutler, David Codey, Andy McIntyre, Tom Lawton jnr and Enrique Rdriguez.
Mark Ella wrote about Farr-Jones in Path To Victory: “Playing the running game, all I wanted from a halfback was to give me the ball. Apart from his size and strength, Nick has a fantastic pass. To vary my game, I sometimes stood a little wider and Nick always found me.”
Nick was a very good runner with the ball, too.
There were significant attitudinal changes towards Farr-Jones after the Grand Slam, as was noted in Nick Farr-Jones: “While Farr-Jones had previously noticed the difference in the way people treated him as soon as he had become a Wallaby, it was as nothing compared to the way they now regarded him now that he was a fully fledged Test player in a victorious team. The phone seemed never stopped ringing, there was a constant round of celebratory dinners to attend and people even held the lift for him.”
Nick, on his return to Australia, took a job with the law firm where his grandfather had been a partner, and thereafter had the unenviable task of balancing his legal duties with his sporting commitment with his club, and the representative demands of Sydney, NSW and Australian teams. In 1985, there were two relatively easy Tests against a weakened Canadian team, and a single Test against the All Blacks, the latter a narrow loss through a simple manoeuvre called ‘Shuckey’ by the All Blacks and ‘Bombay Duck’ by the Wallabies. The Wallabies seemed to lose concentration just once, and that was enough for the All Blacks, who took a quick tap and were over the Aussie line. The Fijians were next on the Wallaby calendar and two spiteful games were won by Australia. It was, in actuality, a rather uneventful year after the drama and emotion of the Grand Slam.
Though the world was seemingly Nick’s oyster, there were some troublesome undercurrents in 1986 and 1987. One was a continuing vacillation in his relationship with coach Alan Jones, who was, after all, in the driver’s seat and was continuingly curbing and correcting real and fancied indiscretions by Farr-Jones. Their temperaments were diametrically opposed, Jones demanding discipline, subservience and agreement and Farr-Jones exploring forever the limits of his own strong personality, in which freedom was a prerequisite since childhood. Jones was most certainly a coach for the golden moment, and had resurrected Australia’s flagging prestige, but was fading through excessive exhortations over the passage of time. Put another way, Jones was reaching his ‘use-by’ date.
As well as one-off Tests against Italy and France and a two-Test series against Argentina in 1986 there was also a three-Test series against the All Blacks. Nick also played in the two games at Cardiff and Twickenham marking the centenary of rugby’s controlling body, the IRB. The Wallabies had a glorious year, winning all the Tests except one, and gaining the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand. Nick’s contribution in the victories was enormous, and Jones nominated him as the Player of the Tour in New Zealand.
The second undercurrent occured in 1987, and was not of Nick’s making but rather neophyte NSW coach Paul Dalton, who was convinced that Farr-Jones, and not the incumbent Simon Poidevin, was the captain required to lead the Blues on to bigger and better things under his tenancy. Such a move was against the wishes of the national coach Alan Jones, and caused a worsening of the relationship between the Jones boys. The move was also not a popular one from the viewpoint of many players. It was not that the NSW team disliked Farr-Jones in any sense, but rather that Poidevin was both popular and had proven his capabilities. Despite the apparent opposition, Farr-Jones was duly appointed to the captaincy.
It was the World Cup year in 1987, and paticularly because of the Wallaby successes in 1986 there was an unduly high expectation that the Cup would be Australia’s. It was all a tragic comedown as Australia was, early on, bundled out of contention, which then became virtual humiliation as they were beaten out of third place by lowly-regarded Wales in the isolated confines of Rotorua.
The bells then tolled inexorably for Alan Jones. Winners are grinners, ‘tis often said, and all sport psychologists agree that victory rarely elicits recrimination,whereas defeat inevitably brings the rats down the drain-pipes. Defeat always required explanation, and excuse, and much of the pent-up emotion and invective were directed at Alan Jones. The basic arguments were: Jones had required total commitment from his players, yet perplexed his team by continuing with his own radio show and subjected his team to afternoon practices; the team was not supervised well enough through being in their own country, and Jones did not respond well after the defeat by France. The litany went on and on.
Then after the World Cup, Jones alienated most of the players because of his changing position with respect to a South African tour by the Wallabies, and the harsh treatment which was allowed to be meted out by the ARFU to Andrew Slack and David Codey, who took it upon themselves to cement negotiations by flying to South Africa. Jones was seemingly inconsistent and ambivalent in the minds of the players.
When he took the Wallabies to Argentina and they emerged with but a draw and a loss, it was inevitable that Jones had reached the end of his tenure. His position was not enhanced by his selection of what players felt was the ‘teacher’s pet’, Brian Smith, over Nick Farr-Jones in the first Test in Argentina. Smith was unduly and incessantly praised by Jones in the opinion of many senior players, and to demote Farr-Jones, slight knee injury or not, was deemed as inexcusable. Jones was rolled on his return to Australia, and Bob Dwyer was back at the helm.
With Dwyer, it was different folks, different strokes, and there was a particularly important stroke in so far as Farr-Jones was concerned. Dwyer wanted Farr-Jones as captain, recognising the leadership potential of the scrappy scrum-half. It had been thought that Simon Poidevin would have been the automatic choice, particularly because Poidevin and Dwyer both had Randwick affiliations, but either Dwyer shied off Poidevin because of his support of Alan Jones or his fear after the Roger Gould-Paul McLean fiasco in his initial reign that once more he was being blinded by the green colours of Randwick and did not want to wear that accusation again. There was also Michael Lynagh looming in the wings with tons of captaincy potential. What did Farr-Jones care about the whys and wherefores, he was the captain. As the saying goes, ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to do and die. And Farr-Jones, as always, would go into the valley of death for the green and gold.
Under Farr-Jones and new coach Dwyer, the Wallabies prevailed in two Tests against England, and Nick revelled in the different personality of the new man, his more consultative and laid-back coaching methods and his own overall role as his country’s captain. The early success did not continue however in the annual clashes against that old nemesis New Zealand, the Wallabies recording a single draw against two heavy losses.
The subsequent Wallaby tour to England and Scotland started off in a devastating manner as England beat the visitors 28-19, but fortunately the Aussies got back on track with an axe job on Scotland to the tune of 32 to 13. The new coach and the new captain were not performing sensationally, but they were at least keeping their heads above water and combining well.
In 1989 the British Lions were on hand to test the mettle of the Wallabies. An easy 30 to 12 opener seemed to foreshadow a 3-0 pasting of the Lions, but they employed biff and bash tactics which unbalanced Australia in the Second Test, and the Wallabies went down 12 to 9. In the final game of the series Australia lost 18 to 19, after an extraordinary gaffe by David Campese when he ran the ball out of his in-goal area and gave a ‘hail Mary’ pass to Greg Martin which resulted in a Lions score. It was one of the classic foul-ups in modern rugby history and Campese and Martin were never allowed to forget it.
There were a few changes to the Wallaby team after that debacle, Simon Poidevin being brought back, and three virtual unknowns were then blooded against the All Blacks, Phil Kearns,Tony Daly and Tim Horan. Kearns was at the time playing second grade for Randwick, and Horan was not even in the Queensland ‘A’ side. The All Blacks won the single Test at Auckland, but the new boys and the ‘old’ veteran performed admirably. However the losses were mounting, and the critics were already taking aim at Bob Dwyer.
Dwyer was partially rescued by a tour of France in which Australia emerged as victors in the first Test, only to go down in the next. However, it was up and down like a yo-yo for him, and Alan Jones on radio and many of the national press called for the hangman’s noose. Dwyer then barely survived a challenge for national coach against Alex Evans, the non-official assistant coach of the Grand Slam Wallabies.
A 2-1 series victory over France in 1990 in Australia temporarily restored Australia’s rugby prestige, yet a 1-2 loss to the All Blacks in New Zealand sent them backwards again. One step forward, two steps backwards. Inexorably, however, Dwyer was putting the pieces together, marshalling the players and technical experts who could perform at his own level of expectation. Willie Ofahengaue, Phil Kearns, John Eales, Marty Roebuck, Tim Horan, Tony Daly and Jason Little were part of the master plan.
It all started to come together in 1991 with the arrival of the Welsh and English teams, and they were disposed of in a clinical manner. That it was all for real at last became clear when the All Blacks were taken apart at the Sydney Football Stadium by 21 to 10. Though the New Zealanders emerged as victors two weeks later in Auckland, the 3-6 scoreline emphasised that the difference between the two countries was minute. The All Blacks have ever been the ultimate test of Australia’s strength. Dwyer and Farr-Jones were riding high.
The pinnacle of both careers was Australia winning the World Cup in 1991. The Wallabies were now atop the world, and every country fossicked around trying to find out how Australia did it. Sure, there were dietitians, strength trainers, sport psychologists, assistants and assistant to the assistant coaches, biomechanists, coaching advisers, etc, etc. All the advice in the world is useless without the right player personnel. It was those on the actual paddock who counted.
As U.S. President Theodore Roosvelt put it: “It’s not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy course; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at best fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
The leadership exerted by Nick Farr-Jones was crucial in the Wallabies’ drive towards Rugby immortality. Despite a narrow let-off as the captain reluctantly departed the field against Ireland and a brilliant Lynagh master-minded an incredible recovery, the indelible portrait of the World Cup besides the genius of Campese is of Farr-Jones, prodding, pushing, cajoling, reversing directions, kicking, running. He was the captain’s captain. There had been times in his career where he was subjected to criticism for his off-field antics more than his on-field captaincy, but in the World Cup campaign he came into full maturity as a captain, a leader, a player and an inspiration, on and off the field.
Though being crowned world champions was the highlight of every Wallaby’s career, there was in actuality a strange mix of feelings when the World Cup was all over and done with. These feelings are described in Nick Farr-Jones , and many athletes of the present day who have been subjected to modern multi-media hype will understand them: “’You’re happy, of course you are, basically. But really mixed up in the middle of it is all is maybe the sense that in conventional terms a lot of people would regard this as probably the pinnacle of your life – and now it’s fifteen minutes behind you and getting further away all the time.’”
Eventually the euphoria departs, to return perhaps in later life with the onset of aching limbs and the realisation of one’s mortality. Players come back to ground level again, and this occurred when the Wallabies went to South Africa in 1992. This was a fantastic occasion in any rugby player’s career. It had been a long time since a previous Wallaby visit. Like a visit to New Zealand, a South African tour was ever considered the supreme test of rugby manhood. This is not meant to denigrate the worth of other rugby playing countries, but the All Blacks and the Springboks provided that extra measure of toughness, and a special breath of fanaticism. Wales used to be spoken of in the same manner, but with the closure of the coal mines, the Welsh have become mere mortals.
Author Bryce Courtney, quoted in Nick Farr-Jones, said: “To the Afrikaaner ... rugby is not a game. It is a commitment, a chosen battlefield, a gesture of collective self-assertion against a hostile and unsympathetic world. It is a rally and call to arms. It is the initiation into manhood. It is a sacred covenant.”
There were problems that surfaced in South Africa that were associated with their very rugby isolation and yet continuing fanaticism, even to the point of Australia actually and seriously considering abandonment of their tour. Sanity fortunately prevailed, and the Wallabies thereafter overran the Springboks by their greatest defeat in 100 years, 26 to 3. For Farr-Jones, it was his 59th Test, and time to retire. In the rugby sense, he had done it all. Now it was time to deal with the real world.
What was for certain was that Nick Farr-Jones was now one of the game’s immortals, and he could never escape the inevitability of his own enduring fame. He had come a long way from being a rather brash child, to being an unofficial ambassador for his country. Maybe he was not good enough to play in the First XV at Newington College, but he was sufficiently gifted to captain the Wallabies in glorious victories for the Bledisloe Cup and the William Webb Ellis trophy.
Full Name: Steven Norman Tuynman
Date of Birth: 30/05/1963
Place of Birth: Sydney
School Attended: Hunter's Hill HS, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 638
Test Cap: 34
Non-Test Cap: 37
Test Points: 20 (5 tries)
Position Played: No.8
State: NSW 33 (1982-90)
Tours: 1982 NZ, 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1987 WC, 1986 NZ,
1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1990 NZ, 1991 NZ
Steve Tuynman looked out of place on the 1982 Wallaby tour of New Zealand. The shy 19 –year -old, answering to ‘Bird’, was wide-eyed and barely shaving. It was his first year out of school.
Earlier that year, the former Australian Schools’ captain had been pitch-forked into the Waratahs’ squad as an 18 –year-.old for a short tour across the Tasman.
After making a startling debut in the sky blue jumper of NSW, one Kiwi newspaper summed up his performance with the headline; ‘A Star is Born.’
Although he did not play a Test in New Zealand later that season under new coach Bob Dwyer, Tuynman certainly made a similar impact in the midweek team, scoring a spectacular try against Manawatu.
Educated at Hunter’s Hill High, Steve was a schoolboy rugby phenomenon. Blessed with a sprinter’s pace, he also had beautiful hands for such a big man.
Athletic and extremely skilful, he stood out like a beacon at Under age level after starting in Eastwood’s U 8’s.
Following three years in the NSW Schools’ team, he captained the unbeaten national schoolboy team to Britain and Ireland in 1981-82.
That side also contained future Wallaby great and captain Michael Lynagh as well as soon-to-be US gridiron player Colin Scotts.
Because of his accelerated promotion to the big time, it was always going to be a steep learning curve at international level for the gifted youngster.
In France in 1983, Tuynman was knocked cold by French hard man Laurent Rodriguez in the infamous ‘Battle of Strasbourg’, sustaining concussion, a broken nose and a badly lacerated left ear.
Yet twelve months later he was starring against the pride of the four Home Unions on the 1984 Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland under coach Alan Jones.
‘Bird’ was the player who scored that famous ‘push-over try’ at Cardiff Arms Park in the historic win over the Welsh. Locking a mighty scrum shunt from the Australian eight, Tuynman executed something that had never been done on Wales’ sacred rugby patch.
In his book Path To Glory, champion fly-half Mark Ella described Steve’s performances on that tour as quite amazing.
Ella specifically pointed to Tuynman’s support play which he said was” just as important as the support play of the inside backs in allowing us to maintain continuity and quick ball.”
In 1986, Steve was a key component in Alan Jones’ triumphant march through New Zealand. The Wallabies became the first Australian team to win a three- Test series on Kiwi soil.
The Aussies appeared to win the series in the dying stages of the second Test at Dunedin but Welsh referee Derek Bevan denied them when he claimed too many hands on the ball. To this day, Tuynman is convinced he scored a legitimate try.
Revenge was sweet in the Third Test in Auckland where ‘Bird’ ‘flew’ all over the pitch, combining punishing defence with excellent work at the tail of the lineout and some powerful running.
His lone RWC cup campaign in 1987 ended in Rotorua on a low note as Australia bowed to underdogs Wales in the play-off for third place.
As a player, Steve Tuynman will be remembered as a schoolboy prodigy who rose to the highest echelons of the game as a world XV representative.
Two Wallaby coaches had a big influence on his career. Alan Jones always had the knack of extracting something special from the tearaway no.8, whereas predecessor Bob Dwyer had the courage to first blood him and then carefully oversee his early development.
Full Name: Jeffrey Scott Miller
Date of Birth: 4/07/1962
Place of Birth: Prescott, Arizona, US
School Attended: De La Salle College, Scarborough, Brisbane
Wallaby Number: 657
Test Cap: 26
Non-Test Cap: 20
Test Points: 4 (1 try)
Position Played: Flanker
State: QLD (1982-91)
Clubs: Teachers-North (Bris), Queensland University
Tours: 1983 FR, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1991 WC
Known as ‘Ginger’ because of his hair colour, Jeff Miller epitomised the bravery of the open side flanker, first to the breakdown, ferreting in the ruck, fearlessly going down on the loose ball and being trampled underfoot by a legion of sturdy studs.
Born on the fourth of July 1962 at Prescott, Arizona, Jeff’s parents brought the youngster to Australia in 1969 and sent him to De La Salle College at Scarborough on the Redcliffe Peninsular. Speaking of his early career, he remarked, “I went to De La Salle and played rugby on Saturday and league on Sunday until I was fifteen when I decided to focus on study and gave league away. After School, I went to Teachers/North and modelled myself on Chris Roche. I got my first game for Queensland in 1982 when Rochie pulled out.
“The game was against the World XV in Queensland’s centenary year. I was only 19 and found it a buzz to be playing with Loane, Moon, McLean, Shaw, Duncan Hall and all those greats. I’d been in the grandstand earlier in the season watching Stan Pilecki trying to hide behind a post so Tempo wouldn’t see him smoking.”
A dynamic open side flanker, Miller lined up against New South Wales in Townsville where Queensland won 22-16 but Roche was back for the big clash at Ballymore where Queensland really celebrated with a 41-7 drubbing of the great rivals. In the following year, the physical education teacher switched clubs and turned out for University.
At the end of the season, Bob Dwyer, with a typically flamboyant eye for talent, chose Miller for the Wallaby tour of Italy and France. His selection came at the expense of the New South Wales loose forward, Peter Lucas, and stunned Simon Poidevin. He reasoned that the side already had himself and Chris Roche who were similar types of flankers, why did the team need a third in Miller – not that he had anything against the Queensland tyro. It was just that Lucas had been in great form and he added much needed height to the lineout.
Early in his career, Miller tended to be under- rated because of his lack of size at 180cms and weighing 88kgs at a time when Alan Jones, the Wallaby coach, was putting a premium on size. Chris Roche had a mortgage on the open side flanker spot for Queensland and Australia and then David Codey came to Brisbane and linked with GPS. It was the bigger Codey who was selected for the Grand Slam tour and Miller was considered an unlucky omission.
To increase the competition just when Roche had moved to rugby league, Julian Gardner from Wests was the find of the 1985 season. Although he was in and out of the Queensland side, Miller never turned in a poor performance. He toured Europe with the Queensland team in 1985 and was the star performer. In the club grand final, Miller found himself against Gardner when University met Wests. Against all the odds, after Gardner left early with a head injury, Wests tipped out the hot favourites with a dubious dropped goal from Tim Lane.
1986 brought a turning point in Miller’s career. Codey was unavailable for the Wallaby’s long tour of New Zealand and Miller was one of four flankers chosen for the tour – the others being Bill Calcraft, Simon Poidevin and Julian Gardner. Miller played in three of the first five tour matches but Jones went for size in the first Test with Poidevin and Steve Tuynman as the flankers and Ross Reynolds at number eight.
After playing just one more game against Buller, Miller was a surprise selection for the second Test at Carisbrook, Dunedin. A controversial ‘no try’ decision by referee Derek Bevan robbed the Wallabies of a win and spoiled Miller’s debut. The series and the Bledisloe Cup hinged on the third Test at Eden Park, Auckland, and it was in this match that Miller made his mark as Australia won convincingly by 22 points to 9.
Andrew Slack, the Wallaby captain, singled Miller out for special mention saying: “Queenslanders were particularly happy with Jeff Miller who got a crack on the jaw and played bravely and extremely well in the third Test.” Miller himself said, “I got hit on the jaw by ‘Cowboy’ Shaw and couldn’t move it but I kept playing. After the game, when they x-rayed it, they found it wasn’t broken.” Thereafter, Miller was a fixture in the Australian side over the next few seasons. In 1987, Miller had the heartbreak of losing the semi -final of the World Cup to France in the last minute of the game and then the dreadful anti-climax of losing to Wales in the play-off for third spot at Rotarua.
After so many years under Bob Templeton, Queensland had a new coach in 1989 in John ‘Knuckles’ Connolly. Of Templeton, Miller said, “Under Tempo, training was good fun. There was the true spirit of the game with all its mateship and camaraderie. It wasn’t professional and there was a strict approach to the game. There weren’t players consistently doing weights and you’d have two or three cartons of beer on the bus while touring.
“Connolly introduced four days a week standard training from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. Sometimes, you’d have to be there at 5.30pm. Then on Saturday afternoon, you’d play touch and on Sunday, there’d be a game. I used to have to go to the gym at 6.00am on weekdays, work from 8.00am to 5.30pm then go to training and get home from training at 9.30pm and start all over again the next day. The amount of pressure kept increasing because we were training as much as rugby league players and we had a job to do as well. I don’t miss training but I do miss the mateship.”
When Connolly decided to replace Michael Lynagh as captain, he intimated to Miller that he was in the running. “Knuckles told me that I was in the running to captain the side to tour Argentina but Bill Campbell was chosen. If I had been given the captaincy, I would have gone but there were a number of tours and these all required commitment and I just had to start balancing things out.”
Despite missing the tour, Miller was always passionate about playing for Queensland. When Canterbury upset the Reds 20-16 at Lancaster Park, Miller fired up. “We’d come off a win and played like dogs,” he explained. “That day, Canterbury just intimidated us. No one was saying anything in the dressing room. Knuckles wasn’t saying anything. I thought there were things that needed to be said, so I got up and had my say for twenty minutes behind closed doors. Next day, Knuckles worked us particularly hard.”
During the 1989 season, Miller had the once in a lifetime opportunity to play against the British and Irish Lions and he figured in all three Tests with the lanky flanker, Scott Gourlay, and Steve Tuynman. Queensland had high hopes of beating the Lions but the Reds were battered into submission and Miller and his teammates presented a pretty shattered picture in the dressing room after the game. The Battle of Ballymore ,as the second Test became known, was a similar experience.
For the one-off Bledisloe Test that followed at Eden Park, Gourlay was dropped and Miller was partnered by the recalled Simon Poidevin. The match also featured the debuts of Tony Daly, Phil Kearns and Tim Horan. After such a hectic season, Miller was unavailable for the tour of France that followed and this opened the way for his understudy, David Wilson, to take his place.
In the 1990 season, Miller returned for the first Test against France in Sydney but was a late withdrawal at Ballymore when Sam Scott-Young made his debut. After returning for the third Test, Miller sidestepped the three-Test tour of New Zealand but returned the following year with an eye to the World Cup in Britain.
When the time came in 1991 for Miller to play his last game for Queensland, fittingly, it was at Ballymore against Wales. ‘This was my last game for Queensland,” Miller recalled. “It was a very emotional day. It was definitely a guts game because it was a very tough one. I remembered being chaired off by ‘Noddy’ (Lynagh) and ‘Crapper’ (Lillicrap) which really meant a lot to me because I’d played a lot of football with those guys. Playing for Queensland was always just the greatest thing and something I never thought I’d do.”
When Miller played in the Test against Wales, he was named ‘man of the match’ but his axing that night for the Test match against England a week later soured his triumph. It was yet another recall for Simon Poidevin.
Miller went off to the World Cup and played against Western Samoa and Wales in the pool matches, then backed up against Ireland when the Wallabies ‘got out of jail’. The Australian players were stunned when Miller was omitted for the semi-final against the All Blacks. He had played splendidly in his three matches but Dwyer wanted more height in the back row and he introduced Troy Coker at number eight and switched Willie Ofahengaue to Miller’s spot for the semi- final and the final when the Wallabies secured victory over England to take the World Cup.
In an illustrious career, ‘Ginger’ Miller gave his all in 69 games for Queensland and 26 Test matches. His long time colleague, Cameron Lillicrap, paid this tribute: “Jeff Miller would die for Queensland. He was the typical open side breakaway, giving everything for the side. He’d go down on the ball and you’d make every effort to get across so they didn’t kick the shit out of him. David Wilson is the same. It’s something that really fires you up.”
Bob Templeton was a fan, saying: “Jeff Miller was one of the truly outstanding openside flankers. He was very committed and quick to the breakdown. I can see him now when we thrashed Wales. He was the catalyst. He was everywhere.”
After retiring from rugby, Miller moved into coaching and was assistant coach to Rod Macqueen when the Wallabies won the World Cup in 1999 in Wales. He then moved on to become the High-performance general manager for the Wallabies before becoming CEO of Queensland Rugby. When Andrew Slack resigned as coach of the Queensland Reds, Miller returned to coaching as head coach of the Reds in 2004.
Sadly, during Miller’s reign,his team was decimated through the Western Force’s raids on the Reds in mid-season in 2005. Players such as Nathan Sharpe were distracted by the large offers dangled before them and the team suffered. Sharpe even resigned the captaincy mid- year after coming to terms with the Force. The following year was no better, with Wendell Sailor switching to New South Wales and a most of Queensland’s emerging talent heading west to join Sharpe. In mid-term, the QRU announced that Eddie Jones had been signed to coach the Reds in 2007 and Miller was left to complete the season as a lame duck coach before quitting rugby. It was a sad end for one of Queensland’s favourite sons.
Full Name: Scott Robert Gourley
Date of Birth: 18/07/1968
Place of Birth: Hornsby, Sydney
School Attended: Narrabri HS, NSW
Wallaby Number: 673
Test Cap: 5
Non-Test Cap: 6
Test Points: 12 (3 tries)
Position Played: Flanker
State: NSW 5 (1989)
Clubs: Narrabri (NSW), Eastwood,
Tours: 1988 Europe
Scott Gourley was born in 1968 and went to Narrabri High School. He developed into a rangy, mobile and hard-hitting backrower at a time when there was plethora of outstanding backrowers, such as Jeff Miller, Tim Gavin, Steve Tynman and Simon Poidevin. He would turn to rugby league at the peak of his career, and would be successful in that code, though never reaching international heights. His club rugby was with Eastwood.
His first major breakthrough on the international level was being selected for the 1988 15-match tour of England, Scotland and Italy. The tour started badly, losing its early non-Test games, which Scott was in, against London Division (10-21 and the Northern Division (9-15).
He was not selected for the first Test against England, the backrowers being Julian Gardner , Steve Tuynman and Jeff Miller. It was another loss, by 19 to 28. Australia had now lost its last four Tests.
Gourley played against Combined English Students before the Test and Edinburgh (25-19) and South of Scotland (27-4) after the English Test. Because of the spirited nature of his play, Gourley was selected for his first Test, against Scotland at Murrayfield, on 19 November 1988.
The Wallaby team on that day was: Andrew Leeds, Arcura Niuqila, Michael Cook, Lloyd Walker, David Campese, Michael Lynagh, Nick Farr-Jones (capt., replaced by Brad Burke, 76 min), Tim Gavin, Scott Gourley, Damien Frawley, Steve Cutler, Jeff Miller, Andy McIntyre, Tom Lawton and Rob Lawton. Howell, et al, wrote in ‘The Wallabies: A Definitive History of Australian Test Rugby’: “Tim Gavin, who came into the side late because of a fall by Steve Tynman in his bath, gave a bruising performance, as did newcomer Scott Gourley and second rower Damien Frawley”. It was a resounding 32 to 13 victory, and Gourley scored a try.
To round off the tour, Gourley played in the now-traditional match against the Barbarians (40-22) and then played his second Test against Italy at Rome (55-6). He scored another try in the victory, further cementing his position.
On his return to Australia he was selected for the next three Tests in 1989, all against the British Isles. Australia won the first at the Sydney Football Stadium by 30 to 12, the second and third by the British Isles, 12 to 19 and 18 to 19.
Gourley would play 11 matches for Australia, five of them Tests. He played five matches for NSW, all in 1989.
Full Name: Stephen Arthur Geoffrey Cutler
Date of Birth: 28/07/1960
Place of Birth: North Sydney
School Attended: Knox Grammar School, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 630
Test Cap: 40
Non-Test Cap: 31
Test Points: 16 (4 tries)
Position Played: Lock
State: NSW 47 (1982-91)
Tours: 1982 NZ, 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1991 WC
When Steve Cutler took the field as a replacement against the All Blacks at Athletic Park Wellington in 1982, he became the tallest Test lock in Australian Rugby history.
The lanky 201cm giant, known as “Skylab”, replaced the stricken Duncan Hall in that historic 19-16 Wallaby victory after a cynical NZ knee had cruelly ended the Aussie vice-captain’s tour.
Alas, Australia’s newest Test cap was overlooked for the series’ decider a week later in Auckland.
Coach Bob Dwyer sacrificed Cuts’ lineout prowess for the sheer grit and toughness of another debutant, Parramatta lock Phil Clements.
Pointedly, Australia struggled for possession throughout that match despite a daring try by fullback Roger Gould in the early minutes. NZ won convincingly.
Cutler’s “string-bean” frame belied his athleticism. At school he won the Associated Schools’ high jump title and was an accomplished 400m runner and cricketer.
He made the NSW Schools rugby team in 1977 but unluckily missed a berth in the famous Invincibles’ squad to Britain and Ireland.
That team contained a bevy of future internationals including the Ella brothers, Tony Melrose, Michael Hawker, Michael O’Connor, Chris Roche and Wally Lewis.
Two subsequent years in Gordon Highlanders’ Colts primed Cutler for grade in 1980 but his initial outing in the top team was delayed a year.
Selection for NSW followed in 1982 and when nine Queenslanders withdrew from the Wallaby tour of New Zealand, his whirlwind elevation to national level was complete.
Cuts found himself pulling on the hallowed gold jumper of his country against the Men in Black at the tender age of 22 years.
However it took a change of national coach two years later before his true worth was realized following a specific maturing focus to further develop his power and strength.
When he succeeded Dwyer in 1984, Alan Jones promoted his tartan lineout tower for the first Test against the All Blacks at the SCG. It was a masterstroke. Cutler dominated the aerial battle and Australia scored a famous victory.
Overlooked at Test level since his Wellington debut, Cutler had boldly taken the first big step towards establishing himself as the world’s premier lineout forward.
The rapid ascension did not just happen. It came after long hours in the gym to add bulk to his frame on the advice of Wallaby teammate `Topo’ Rodriguez.
As well, Cuts worked overtime to strengthen his calves which he saw as a crucial element to sustain effective jumping, especially on soft grounds.
Parked alongside Steve Williams in the Wallaby second row, Cutler became a hero on the Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland in 1984.
His supreme ball-winning ability and new-found power in the scrums were big factors in Australia’s set piece domination in the internationals.
It gave the talented Aussie backline personnel every opportunity to express itself and that they did!
The 1986 tour of New Zealand proved another triumph for Cutler and his team-mates. Coach Jones paired him with Bill Campbell, another two metre light pole.
It was an historic series win for the Andrew Slack- led side following a commanding 22-9 clincher in the deciding third Test at Eden Park.
Cutler and his fellow forwards defended magnificently in the first half paving the way for the backs to cut loose in the second term.
He played a leading role in Australia’s disappointing 1987 World Cup campaign and when Bob Dwyer returned as national coach the following year, Cuts was still very much a key part of the big picture.
The controversial series loss to the British and Irish Lions in 1989 saw Cutler lose some caste with the national selectors and after making himself unavailable in 1990, he was resurrected by Dwyer for a swansong 1991 World Cup campaign.
Cuts played only one game, against Samoa, but he was there as insurance if anything happened to first choice locks John Eales and Rod McCall.
The victorious Cup campaign was a fitting note to sign-off on an illustrious test career spanning ten seasons.
An agricultural scientist by profession, Cutler also wrote a doctor’s thesis on the seasonal reproduction cycle of the ewe. He has since spent most of his working career overseas with his family.
Stephen Arthur Geoffrey Cutler’s pedigree is certainly from the top drawer.
His late uncle, the much adored former Governor of NSW, Sir Roden Cutler VC, demonstrated a remarkable resilience and strength of character both as a soldier and later in public office.
Full Name: William Alexander Campbell
Date of Birth: 28/11/1961
Place of Birth: Brisbane
Date of Death:
School Attended: Gregory Terrace College
Wallaby Number: 640
Test Cap: 22
Non-Test Cap: 22
Test Points: 0
Position Played: Lock
State: QLD (1984-91)
Clubs: Wests (Bris), Oxford University (1987)
Tours: 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1988 Europe, 1990 NZ
At 203cm in height and 113kg on the scale, Bill Campbell’s future was always going to be at lock and it would be the lineout where he would shine. Educated at Gregory Terrace (Brisbane), he was only a member of the second team, like Nick Farr-Jones at his school. They would both become legends as they matured. He had other sporting interest at school, such as swimming, the shot put and the high jump.
His medical studies took over after he left school but in the early eighties he revived his interest in rugby and, playing for Wests, made the Queensland Under 21 and ‘B’ teams. He had actually given the game away for three years in pursuit of being a surgeon, like his father. Ella and Smith described him as a quiet, contemplative fellow. Smith said of Campbell in ‘Path to Victory’:
“Some very tall men look awkwardly angular, but not Bill Campbell, doctor son of Brisbane vascular surgeon and now a second-row forward of genuine world class. Proudly straight-backed, at first glance the Queenslander appears to be even taller than his 203 cm.
“With new coach Alan Jones unashamedly looking for tall men with a bit of spring and co-ordination, Campbell was whisked virtually from nowhere to play a Test in Fiji in 1984. Then it was off to the British Isles. When Steve Williams retired at the end of the 1985 campaign, Campbell was an automatic choice to partner Steve Cutler in Australia’s second-row.
“Campbell had a magnificent game against France at the SCG and showed much courage in New Zealand, where he needed a pain-killing needle for a shoulder injury in each of the three Tests. His career hasn’t been helped by often having rush home after a night shift at the hospital and only having time for a few hours’ sleep before heading off to Ballymore for a representative match.”
Ella, in the same book, gave his personal impressions:
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Billy. He’s a great jumper. Steve Cutler gets up a bit higher and is more experienced, but Campbell isn’t that far behind. Like Cuts when he first came in, Billy once was a bit too soft for a big man. He didn’t get in there and really do the hard work. That changed in 1984 and now he shows a lot more aggression. He really came on in the British Isles and was unlucky Cutler and Steve Williams were there. He was an automatic replacement for Williams when the time came and he has handled the job as if born to it.”
In 1983, just before Bill Campbell came into the picture, the Australian locks were the spring-stepped David Hillhouse and Steve Williams. For Queensland, it was Peter McLean and David Hillhouse.
The first appearance for Campbell at the higher level was in 1984 for Queensland against Fiji at Ballymore. It was a 15 to 19 loss. Little did anyone conceive that Campbell would be in a short space of time change the course of Australian rugby.
In the Australian that year, the Wallaby coach, Alan Jones, introduced the other young great Steve Cutler from Gordon, and he paired up with Steve Williams. This made it the tallest lineout in Australian history. When he saw Campbell, he visualised the future of that lineout.
Then rebuilding on a three- match Fijian tour with manager ‘Chilla’ Wilson, coach Alan Jones and captain Andrew Slack. Campbell played in all three games against Western Selection (19-3), Eastern Selection (15-4) and Fiji at Suva (16-3). There were five on debut in this match, Campbell, Ross Reynolds, ‘Topo’ Rodriguez, Nigel Holt and Michael Lynagh. The team on his debut was David Campese, Peter Grigg, Andrew Slack, Michael Lynagh, Brendan Moon, Mark Ella, Phillip Cox, Ross Reynolds, Simon Poidevin, Bill Campbell, Nigel Holt, Chris Roche, Andy McIntyre, Tom Lawton and ‘Topo’ Rodriguez.
Howell, et al wrote, in ‘The Wallabies’: “Outstanding players of the future Michael Lynagh, Bill Campbell and Ross Reynolds had solid debuts, while Nigel Holt, playing his only Test, gave sound support to Bill Campbell in the line-outs.”
The end of 1984 was the famous Grand Slam tour and Campbell could not beat out the Cutler-Williams combination but he made it the best 1-2-3 in world rugby. During the tour, he played eight matches of the eighteen, against London Division (22-3), Combined Services (44-9), Midland Division (21-18), Ulster (13-15), Llanelli (16-19), Northern Division (19-12), Glasgow (26-12), and Pontypool (24-18). For the rest of his life, he could rightly claim that he was in the only Wallaby team in the history to win all the Tests.
In 1985 it was still the Cutler-Williams duo dominating the Australian Test team and his only match that year against another country was Brisbane against Canada (16 to 24 loss).
It was in 1986 where it was Cutler and Campbell selected for Australia against Italy. Steve Williams had retired. It turned out to be a difficult game, though Australia won 39 to 8.
Next up was France in Sydney, Australia winning 27 to 14. The lineout control exerted by Campbell and Cutler was a significant factor in the match. Campbell also played for Queensland against them.
Then there was Argentina, Australia winning 39 to 19, with Ross Reynolds replacing Cutler in the lineout. This was also the same combination for the second Test, won 26 to 0. Howell et al noted, in The Wallabies: “Tommy Lawton grabbed five tight heads to one, while Bill Campbell, without the usual support of Steve Cutler and David Codey, stamped his authority in the line-outs.”
What followed was a 14 -match tour of New Zealand, which was Campbell’s first experience of Bledisloe Cup rugby. Alan Jones was the coach. First up Campbell played against Manawatu (9-6) and Counties (21-3) before the first New Zealand Test. It was a narrow 13 to 12 victory at Wellington. The Cavalier tour to South Africa had weakened the All Blacks. Chester and McMillan wrote, in The Visitors: “Cutler and Campbell, the Wallaby lineout specialists, shackled the All Blacks in this phase of play.”
A 10 to 30 loss to Canterbury followed for Campbell and then came the second Test at Dunedin. It was a 12 to 13 loss, identical score in reverse of the first Test. A number of Cavaliers had been hurriedly brought into the match. Chester and McMillan wrote: “Cutler and Campbell had been the dominant figures in the lineout.”
The next match in which he was involved was a 55-0 whitewash of Southland and his following game was the last of the tour, the third and deciding Test. In one of Australia’s greatest-ever matches, Australia won 22-0 and with it the Bledisloe Cup. Chester & McMillan noted: “Cutler won a lot of lineout balls and was effective around the field, as was his Test partner Campbell when not hampered by a shoulder injury.”
This was the match when coach Alan Jones, ever the master of hyperbole, enthused: “This is bigger than Quo Vadis. This is bigger than anything.” Dedicated Wallaby flanker Simon Poidevin simply stated: “Now I can live in peace.” It was felt by many that the victory even exceeded the 1984 Grand Slam and placed Australia as number one in the game, allowing for the fact that South Africa were excluded at the time from the game.
In 1987, against Korea, it was almost ludicrous pairing Cutler and Campbell and it was an easy 65-18 stroll. The big forwards, Cutler, Campbell, Tom Lawton, ran around almost at will. It was a hectic schedule, as Australia beat England (19-6), the first match ever in Australia for the World Cup.
Next on the Cup schedule was the USA (47-12), then Japan (42-23), a match in which Campbell did not start but came on as a replacement, and the quarter- final versus Ireland (33-15).
Then, in a major upset in the semi-final, France defeated Australia 30-24. Soon after the start of the game, Bill Campbell had to leave the field with ligament damage and Brett Papworth also was replaced with a thigh injury. It was the end of Australia’s World Cup hopes and without Campbell, Australia lost the play-off to Wales, David Codey being sent off after only four minutes.
Cutler and Campbell were back in tandem for the Bledisloe match against New Zealand, the Wallabies hoping to atone for their World Cup disappointment. It did not happen, Australia losing 16 to 30. Howell, et al, noted: “There were brilliant moves and Steve Cutler and Bill Campbell seemed to be soaring above everyone else in the lineouts.”
Campbell did not accompany the Wallabies on their nine- match tour of Argentina. In fact he did not reappear on the international scene until the end -of -season 1988 tour of England, Scotland and Italy.
Campbell played against Northern Division (9-15), South and South West Division (10-26), Midlands Division (25-18) and then the Test against England, which was also lost 19 to 28. Then came Scottish North and Midlands (37-17), Combined Services (48-7) and Italy ‘B’ (26-18). He did not play in the Scotland or Italy Tests, Damian Frawley replacing him.
In 1989, now captaining Queensland, the Reds defeated Fiji by 39-13 and lost to the British Isles, 15-19. When the three Tests came about against the British Isles, the duo were back in action, winning the first 30-12, losing the second 12-19 and the third 18-19. This latter match will ever be remembered for Campese running the ball out from his own goal line and throwing an errant pass to fullback Greg Martin.
His international year ended with the Test against New Zealand at Eden Park. The injured Campbell had to leave the field, and was replaced by Tim Gavin. Australia lost 12 to 24. This was the match when Bob Dwyer arguably put his coaching career on the line by introducing Phil Kearns, Tony Daly and Tim Horan.
The career of Bill Campbell ended in 1990, when 31 players went to New Zealand with Bob Dwyer. Campbell played against Waikato (10-21), West Coast-Buller (62-0), Hanan Shield Districts (34-0), North Auckland (24-0), and the second Test at Eden Park (17-27). Campbell paired with Rod McCall in this match. Then he was in the North Harbour match (23-12) and the Bay of Plenty (4-12).
His last international match was the third Test at Athletic Park, Wellington. It was a great victory for Australia, 21 to 9. It ended the 50 match and 23 Test unbeaten sequence for the All Blacks. It was a great way to end a distinguished career.
Bill Campbell would play in 22 Tests and gain 26 non-Test caps. Nine of the non-Test caps saw him as captain, a considerable and under-noticed honour.
It was the hunch of Alan Jones to bring the lineout specialists together of Steve Williams, Steve Cutler and Bill Campbell. It was almost a new concept selecting two with such extreme height. In many ways it changed thinking about the lineout.
There is no doubt that it was in the lineout that Campbell shone, but he was a good all-round forward besides. He was on the 1984 Grand Slam, played in the World Cup, and toured the world with the Wallabies. He came a long way from the second XV at Gregory Terrace.
Full Name: Daniel James Crowley
Date of Birth: 28/08/1965
Place of Birth: Brisbane
Date of Death:
School Attended: St.laurence's College, Brisbane
Wallaby Number: 676
Test Cap: 38
Non-Test Cap: 17
Test Points: 5 (1 try)
Position Played: Prop
State: QLD 124 (1987-99)
Clubs: Souths (Bris)
Tours: 1989 FR, 1991 WC, 1992 UK, 1993 FR, 1995 WC, 1996 Europe, 1999 WC
An old fashioned no-nonsense prop forward who could play on either side of the scrum, Dan Crowley came to epitomise the fire and the passion that characterised the Reds when they took on the Blues in the annual State of the Union. When Queensland coach, Mark McBain, Crowley’s former front row partner, needed to motivate his charges before the Reds versus Waratahs game in 2001, he called on the rugged Crowley who proceeded to deliver such a stirring rallying cry that McBain was moved to say that he had almost forgotten the feelings which stir up inside Queensland players when they play against their old rival.
Born in Brisbane on 28 August 1965 to parents who migrated to Australia from the UK shortly after they were married, the young Dan Crowley grew up on the southside of Brisbane and attended St Laurence’s College, the alma mater of other tough front rowers such as Neil ‘Tiny’ Betts and Nev Cottrell. There, Dan was an average student who sometimes incurred the wrath of the Brothers, along with his siblings.
Beginning rugby in the Under 8’s competition, Dan found his mates chiding him over his weight and lack of speed. He also played volleyball and cricket, although rugby union was always his favourite sport. Like other St Laurence boys, he gravitated to Souths and packed down with Tommy and Rob Lawton in the front row in the premiership side in 1986 when Souths won their first title in 28 years.
When faced with the choice of a career, Dan followed his brother Michael into the Queensland Police Force and was drawn to working undercover. At the Police Academy, Wayne Bennett, the future Broncos coach, conducted the physical education programme. Bennett recognised Crowley’s potential and he tried to encourage Crowley to switch to rugby league. However, Bill Turner, Bennett’s deputy, was a Scot who convinced Crowley to stay with rugby union.
During his time in the police force, Crowley was transferred to Gympie and played there. Now the Gympie Rugby Union boasts that they had at least one Wallaby in their ranks. Undercover Police work meant Crowley had to change his appearance to fit in with whatever group he needed to infiltrate and Ballymore regulars who were naturally unaware of his undercover duties commented on his changing appearance – sometimes bearded, sometimes clean-shaven.
After winning the premiership with Souths in 1986, Crowley was brought back to earth the following year when Brothers avenged their defeat the previous year by downing Souths 20-19. It was a particularly bitter defeat for Andrew Slack and David Codey who played their last games of club rugby that day. This was just after the pair had been bitterly attacked by the ARU over their attempts to secure a rugby tour of South Africa.
Nevertheless, 1987 was a momentous year for Crowley. After playing second fiddle to Andy McIntyre at tighthead prop, Crowley made his debut for Queensland during the World Cup against the French side, Languedoc-Roussillon ,at Crosby Park. The game had to be moved from Ballymore and Crosby Park provided an inauspicious setting for Crowley and other debutantes to launch their provincial careers. It proved a fiery match and Crowley was in the thick of the action. He had one other outing that year and this was against Leicester. Both Languedoc and Leicester were touring to coincide with the World Cup.
After a solid 1988 season, Crowley was a first choice tighthead prop in a formidable front row with Mark McBain and Cameron Lillicrap in the Queensland team named to meet the touring British and Irish Lions in 1989 at Ballymore. Little knowing that the Lions had targeted this match as a ‘must win’, the Queenslanders expected an easy match but were rocked by the brutal aggression of the Lions such that the home dressing room resembled a casualty station by the end of the game.
To this point, Crowley had been favoured as the tighthead prop in the first Test but now there were doubts, particularly as Randwick’s Ewen McKenzie was chosen as the tighthead prop for the Australia’ B’ side to meet the Lions. However, injury robbed McKenzie of a further chance to press his claims for New South Wales in their tour match against the Lions.
Duly chosen to make his Test debut at the Sydney Football Stadium, Crowley had the then unusual experience of having to pack with two replacements in the second half after Cameron Lillicrap and Tom Lawton were forced off with injury and on came Mark McBain and Mark Harthill. Fortunately, Crowley had played most of the season with McBain and the changes provided little disruption with the Wallabies running out convincing winners by 30 points to 12.
After retaining his place for all three Tests, Crowley was replaced by Andy McIntyre for the Anzac match against the tourists at Ballymore and McIntyre retained the position for the one-off test against the All Blacks in Auckland.
Despite these setbacks, Crowley was selected for his first Wallaby tour, which took him to Canada and France. McIntyre had gone back into retirement and Ewen McKenzie was chosen as the other tighthead prop. Right from the first match in France against the Pyrenees at Toulouse, Crowley was relegated to the dirt-trackers behind McKenzie, who formed one of the famous Wallaby front rows with Tony Daly and Phil Kearns.
With this trio in situ, Crowley did not play another international for the Wallabies until the 1991 World Cup when he played against Western Samoa at Pontypool. He had missed the 1990 Wallaby tour of New Zealand but toured Europe with the Emerging Wallabies that year. Although he made only one appearance in Australia’s successful bid for the World Cup, Crowley was an important and popular member of the team and played his part in the side’s success.
In 1992, Crowley was forced out of the Wallaby four- match visit to South Africa with injury but returned for the Wallaby tour of Ireland and Wales that followed. In the wild brawl during the tour match with Munster, Crowley was forced off the field with a cut that required 11 stitches. When Tony Daly was injured during the tour, Crowley was brought into the Test side against Ireland at loosehead prop and retained his place for the following Test against Wales at Cardiff.
In the 1993 season, Crowley received a setback in Queensland’s match against Natal when big Guy Kebble busted his ribs in the first scrum of the game. After missing the next four games for the Reds, Crowley made a comeback against the touring South Africans. Canny Springbok coach, Ian McIntosh, remembered Crowley’s run- in with Kebble and specifically chose Johan Styger in place of Balie Swart to target Crowley. With the Queenslander underdone, the plan worked and the Springboks won 17-3. After he retired, Crowley rated Styger, a 120kgs dentist from the Orange Free State, as his toughest opponent.
After three years warming the reserves bench for the Wallabies, Crowley finally deposed Daly at loosehead prop for the Test matches against Argentina in 1995 and went to the World Cup in South Africa as Australia’s number one in that position. However, Australia’s early exit in the World Cup meant that Crowley only made two appearances there against South Africa and England.
Following the World Cup, Crowley went to New Zealand to play the All Blacks at Auckland and had the misfortune to mistake Josh Kronfeld’s head for the ball. When he was subsequently cited on video evidence and suspended for the return encounter with the All Blacks, Crowley had the dubious honour of being the first Wallaby to be cited on video evidence.
The suspension proved costly for Crowley. He had signed a contract after rugby turned professional but lost his place in the Wallaby side in 1996 to Richard Harry for the Tests against Wales, although he replaced the injured Harry during the second Test.
When the Tri-Nations series started, Crowley moved back to tighthead prop against New Zealand and South Africa but proved his versatility by switching to loosehead prop against Ireland and Wales on the Wallaby tour that year.
Thereafter, Crowley was out of favour with the Australian selectors while Harry and Andrew Blades were Australia’s starting props. After a few appearances off the bench, Crowley was Australia’s loosehead prop in the Tri-Nations series in 1998 but the Australian selectors then settled on Harry and Andrew Blades as the Wallaby props to take Australia through to the World Cup. However, because of his versatility, Crowley was always a reserve and he increased his number of caps by coming on as a replacement in several matches.
For Crowley, it was a triumph to make his third World Cup appearance. Although he only started in the game against the United States, Crowley came off the bench in three others, including the important final against France when the Wallabies triumphed 23-3. This gave Crowley a part in two World Cup wins – a remarkable feat.
Thus the final of the World Cup provided another enthralling chapter in an international career that brought him 55 matches for the Wallabies between 1989 and 1999, which included 38 tests in which he scored one try. For his beloved Reds, Crowley played 124 matches during a golden era for Queensland rugby.
On the personal side, Crowley left the police force after 11 years and started his own commercial investigation business called Crowmont Services and then wrote a book in 2005 about his double life entitled Undercover Prop. This inspiring book was an important insight into a remarkable career.
Capitalising on his pugnacious and plain spoken personality, softened with wit and humour, Crowley joined the Seven Network’s rugby commentary team with Tim Horan and became in great demand as a Master of Ceremonies where his ready wit makes him a favourite on the luncheon and dinner circuit. He has not forgotten his roots, agreeing to be the Queensland Rugby Club’s rugby ambassador and taking a position on the QRU Board. All in all, Dan Crowley was a remarkable personality.
Full Name: Thomas Anthony Lawton
Date of Birth: 27/11/1962
Place of Birth: Darwin, NT
Date of Death:
School Attended: Mt.Gravatt SHS & The Southport School
Wallaby Number: 639
Test Cap: 41
Non-Test Cap: 32
Test Points: 16 (4 tries)
Position Played: Hooker
State: QLD (1984-92)
Clubs: Souths (Bris), Natal (SA)
Tours: 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG,
1988 Europe, 1989 FR, 1992 SA
The Lawton family is one of the great families of Australian rugby, nowhere near the unbelievable McLean dynasty, but certainly not to be sneezed at. The McLeans were pretty straight forward in their lives, whereas with the Lawtons there was a sense of drama about them. To write about the McLeans is to write an historical family biography, whereas the Lawton story makes up more of a gripping novel.
Grandfather Tom Lawton was a unique character, a legend in his own time, a phenom. He is undoubtedly the greatest sportsman ever at Brisbane Grammar School. He entered Brisbane Grammar School (BGS), Brisbane's senior most elite private school, in 1913. He represented BGS in cricket for four years, captaining the school in 1916 and 1917, was adjudged best fieldsman in 1915 and 1916, and had the best batting average in 1917. His best scores included 176 not out at Armidale School and 137 against Toowong, both in 1917.
He rowed number two in the school crew for three years, and was a fine tennis player. Tom won the AII School's open high jump with a leap of 5 foot 6 inches and was second in the 120 yards hurdles. He also gained his swimming colours in 1916 and 1917, won the breaststroke and backstroke race in 1917, and was school champion and school captain in that sport the same year.
However it was at Rugby Union where he really made his mark, playing in the first team for three years and winning the recognition as best back in 1916 and 1917. Playing mainly in the centre, the school magazine said of him, in his last year at school: "His rapidity in taking advantage of any opening offside, his ingenuity in originating passing rushes, his clever ‘raking in’' of wild passes, and his sure foot, combine to warrant him the position of in centre in any team. Without in any way detracting from the merits of the other backs, he was undoubtedly superior to them all, and innumerable times he saved a dangerous situation so that in fact the others began to rely so much on his ability that far more than his portion of work was always thrust upon his willing shoulders. A splendid kick with both feet, he could find the line to a nicety.”
His reputation was such that Tom Sr. was selected for interstate rugby when rugby union began in Queensland briefly in 1919 for the AIF games. He was later to represent Queensland in 1929, 1930 and 1932
During the first World War he was a Gunner in France with the 12th Field Artillery Brigade. On his return to Queensland he entered the University of Queensland to do science, passing first year. The Queensland Rugby Union had disbanded because of the war, and only Rugby League was played at the University. So Tom played Rugby League, a year in which the University won the competition. However, he did play for the Queensland AIF against the 1919 AIF team after its return to Australia at the end of World War I. He then went to Sydney to pursue a medical course at St. Andrews' College, Sydney, where he was until 1922. He played for NSW against New Zealand in 1920. Though an inside centre at school, he was a five eighth from then on.
While in Sydney he played for Western Suburbs and Sydney University. In 1922 he began his studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, residing at New College. He, of all people, represented the scholar athlete, and with his war time service included, he was the perfect choice as a Rhodes Scholar. While at Oxford he won three Blues, which is granted a player who plays in the Oxford V Cambridge game.
In 1922 23 he played 60 games, for Oxford, Blackheath, New College and the Barbarians. The year 1923 was a highly emotional one, as after a challenge he and two other Australians were suspended for a time because they had played Rugby League. The underlying reason was that a ‘colonial', Lawton, had been elected as captain at Oxford. There was much drama involved, but finally the three Aussies played in the 1923 inter-University fixture. Tom also won an Athletics Blue in the shot put and represented the University at swimming and water polo.
He returned to Sydney and in 1925 played for NSW, touring with them on their tour to New Zealand. The NSW team only had two losses in 11 games, one of them against the All Blacks. He was 26-years-of-age at the time.
Then he made the famous Waratah team to the British Isles, France and Canada. In the internationals in recent years they have been accorded Test status the Waratahs beat Ireland, Wales and France, and lost to Scotland and England. It was a glorious tour, the Johnny Wallace led team playing exciting, running football. The Waratah style of play is still a major force in Australian rugby. The legacy carved out by Johnny Wallace, Tom Lawton, Cyril Towers, Sydney Malcolm, Alex Ross and others has been significant. On the tour, Tom Lawton easily top-scored with 124 points, and he played in 27 of the official tour games. This was only exceeded by fullback Alex Ross, with 29 appearances.
The Daily Express had this to say of him: "In Lawton...we saw the player whom we remembered, right from the start of the tour at Devonport. If any change had come about, it was that Lawton played ever more unselfishly than had been his habit in Oxford and Blackheath days. Lawton is a deceptive stand off half. With his long legs and his long stride, he seems slow to the casual spectator. And at times he does not appear to be doing much in what we may term a formal attack the ball heeled out and passed to Lawton, who runs on a few yards and gives it to some one else.
"That is all. But watch Lawton closely, and you will see, as likely as not, that in those few yards he draws an unwary opponent, and so times his pass that the attack is likely to prosper. He scores few tries himself: but helps his comrades to many. He is always in the right place. His defence is excellent, his kicking well judged, and as a ‘converter' he runs up the goal score with a pitiless accuracy equalled only, in another place, by that of a taximeter."
He only scored one try on tour, but the backs outside of him scored 40. As Johnny Wallace was to say: "Tommy smoothed the way for us."
As for his style, it was deceptive. Tall and elegant, everything seemed to come easily to him. All Black captain Cliff Porter called him "the loping ghost".
He came back to Queensland when rugby resumed there in 1929, and captained Australia to an historic three Test victory over the All Blacks. This was pre Bledisloe Cup days. The following year he led Australia to an exciting 6 5 victory over the British Lions.
In 1932 he again captained Australia in the first two Tests against New Zealand. Australia won the first of these Tests at the SCG 22 to 17, but lost the next one in Brisbane 3 21. Inexplicably, he was dropped for the third Test, thus ending a distinguished career of 13 Tests.
Tom squired a son, who in turn was to have two sons, Robert (‘Rob’) and Tom Jr. Neither could be described as loping ghosts, unmistakably appearing in the mould of the frontrower.
The youngest of the sons was Rob, and he was to play four Tests for Australia as a prop. He later achieved a New Zealand Rugby Union contract and played for Otago. Tom Jr was born in Darwin in 1962. His father was a mining engineer, and the family moved between the Northern Territory and Malaysia from 1962 to 1968. They next moved to the Gold Coast for three years in 1969, and then to Brisbane.
His first rugby experience was at the State School at Mount Gravatt, playing a season there at Rugby League. One teacher saw his latent ability, and told him to go to Souths Rugby Union, which he did, playing for the under 11s, and progressed all the way in subsequent years to the under 16s. He came under the influence of long serving coach Roy Elmer, and received a perfect grounding in the fundamentals from him.
He received a scholarship and departed to TSS (Southport), and played for the firsts in grades 11 and 12, and in a repeat Grade 12 year. Ex Wallaby Jake' Howard had come up from St Joseph's in Sydney, and really honed young Tom with the do's and don'ts of scrummaging. Jake has often been an assistant coach with the Wallabies, is the father of Wallaby Pat, and is considered to be one of the great thinkers in the modern game, particularly in relation to scrummaging, in Australia. Throughout his representative career, Tom would continually ring 'Jake' to exchange views.
Ex Brisbane Grammar master Alex Evans was another who was to have a profound influence on him. When Tom was picked to go to the Schoolboy trials in 1980, Alex showed the youngster how to pack, saying: "Look, this bastard does it this way, Jake' Howard does it another way, but every other bastard is going to do it my way."
Another to assist his early career was ex Wallaby and phenomenal striker Bill Ross. Tom said: "It was a real eye opener to see Bill's skill. It was the old dog teaching the young puppy a few tricks of the trade."
The presence of Queensland hooker Mark McBain was another factor that kept Tom on his toes. Mark Ella and Terry Smith said of him in Path to Victory: "Mark McBain is one of those players whose commitment is such that admiring spectators begin wondering if they ought not to take off their coats and offer to help. Apart from his hooking skills, the gutsy Queenslander is virtually a third breakaway as he hunts for the loose ball. At times he's a human hurricane." It was McBain that kept Tom out of the Queensland team for some time. In actual fact Tom had played three Tests before he represented his State.
Tom played for Queensland in the under 12s, 14s and 16s, and in 1980 made both the Queensland Schoolboys and the Australian Schoolboys teams. In 1982 he played for Souths in the firsts, and for Queensland and Australia at the under 21 level, touring New Zealand with the 21s.
Luck enters the career of some players, and for Tom that luck came early in his career, as hookers Chris Carberry, Bill Ross and Lance Walker retired, and Bruce Malouf was married. So he was selected, with McBain, to tour Italy and France with the Wallabies in 1983.
During the first Test against France, which resulted in a 15 all draw, McBain incurred a life threatening head injury and Lawton came on in the 75th minute to replace him, and thereafter played the second Test in Paris. In 1984 he toured Fiji and played his third Test, his two props being Enrique Rodriguez and Andy McIntyre. This trio changed the nature of Australian front row play. New coach Alan Jones quickly realised the necessity of such a strong platform if Australia were to reach new heights in the game.
New Zealand then came to Australia for three Tests, and it was this front row of Rodriguez, Lawton and McIntyre that fronted up against the experienced All Blacks, Gary Knight, Andy Dalton and John Ashworth.
By this time Tom had acquired his nick name of Turtle', given him by fellow Souths player Andrew Slack, who said if Tom ever fell on his back he would not be able to get up, like a turtle. Slacky, however, got his come uppance, as he was designated as ‘Sugar Ray', after famous boxer Sugar Ray' Robinson, because he "couldn't fight his way out a paper bag".
The 1984 Wallabies in the British Isles were not over impressive in their early games, drawing with South and South West, and losing to Cardiff, but when the internationals came around they played with great intensity and control. England and then Ireland fell in turn.
Wales held a special significance for ‘Turtle', as his grandfather had told him: "One of the best things to do is to play Wales at Cardiff Arms Park, the only thing better is to beat the bastards." Though his grandfather died in 1978 and was not at the game, his mother was, which added to the emotion of the contest.
Before the Test, a reporter asked Tom: "What do you want to achieve?"
He replied: " I'd really like to score a try. If not, I'd like to score a ‘pushover try'. I ended up getting both. It was my biggest thrill, my greatest memory. We could have beaten anyone that day!"
The pushover try against Wales is one of the great moments of Australian rugby. The proud Welsh crowd sat stunned, in disbelief at the turn of events. It had never happened to a Welsh pack in the history of their game.
After the try, Lawton ran towards the stands, and looking at the Wallaby reserve bench, clenched his fist and punched the air. "You know", he reflected, "we were a team, we were close and respected each other, and I felt compelled to do it. Not being selected is tough on one's ego, it all comes down to one's man's decision, and any of those players would have done the job. It was instinctive, it was for them for what we all had done.
"Australian teams train ruthlessly, because everyone is trying to make the Test team," he went on. "Many spectators watching us train can't believe it. Prior to the Test Stan Pilecki broke my nose with his elbow, not deliberately, he was in there proving he was good enough for the Test. But once the team is selected Aussie teams all come together in a support mode. People like Chris Roche were terrific, despite their deep disappointment. They inspired the team."
The Wallabies had now come three parts of the way towards the Grand Slam, only Scotland remained, and it was tough coming back to earth after the Wales demolition job, but realising the enormity of their responsibility the team finally focussed on this game. This is where Alan Jones' ability to mould the team really came to the fore.
After the pre match talk in the dressing room, coach Alan Jones left the room early. Lawton said: "Jonesy left the room. I heard afterwards that he immediately rang London and told someone to put pounds on us to win, that he knew we would do it."
The match was extremely tough, particularly in the front row. For Tom it was a rare thrill to play against the great Scottish player Colin Deans. He said: "It was a real honour, as I watched him as a kid, little thinking that one day I would be playing against him. We had real trouble in the game with their tight head prop, Ian Milne, a big, strong, tough man. At one stage Nick Farr Jones couldn't put the ball in the scrum. I was stuck in there, hardly breathing the pressure was so great, and I couldn't lift my foot off the ground. I was signalling Topo' to collapse the scrum, but he couldn't either. 'Nick' got the ball in, but it just stayed in middle of the scrum. Noone could lift a foot, them or us. It was a very tough game." So it was, but Australia won, to be forever part of the nation's rugby history by being the first Wallaby team to snare the Grand Slam'. Everyone on that tour is now and forever a Grand Slam Wallaby'.
Mark Ella wrote of Tom Jr in Path to Victory: "At one stage we weighed in and 'Turtle' was the heaviest man in the team at 111 kilos. Unbelievable. Having a huge hooker made our pack so big it wasn't funny. Lawton has all the skills, too. He can catch and pass and get round the field in a way that is amazing for such a big man. His ability to throw the ball right on to the man in the lineout was another big part of our play.
"Tom grew up very quickly on the tour. Of course, he got a lot of help from 'Topo' and Steve Williams. But once the pack went down, there was never any doubt that Turtle' was master of the scrum. Although he was the youngest, he wasn't shy about ripping into that part of the tour. 'Turtle' is an hilarious guy, one of the funniest on the tour. Playing his guitar. Singing songs. Telling some of the best jokes ever."
What he was good at was his pin point lineout throws. He worked constantly on this part of his game. Noone was better than him in this department.
After the Grand Slam, matches against Canada and Fiji in 1985 were low key, though Tom was surprised at the ability of the Canadians, particularly in their set plays. The late Kerry Fitzgerald was the referee in the second Test, and penalised them near their line. Australian teams are taught to accept decisions without comment, and Tom has never forgotten the Canadian response, in their North American accents: "Jeezez, ref, shiiitt, ref."
There was a one off Test against New Zealand that year, which New Zealand won 10 to 9 through a simple surprise move called 'Shuckey' in the final minutes. It was a rehearsed tap penalty move 60m out from the tryline, which winger Craig Green scored from. Many of the Grand Slam players had retired or were unavailable for that game, such as Andrew Slack, Mark Ella, Michael Hawker, Brendan Moon, and Chris Roche, who had surprisingly gone for a time to Rugby League.
In 1986 there was a single Test against France at the SCG which Australia won by 27 to 14, and then the Wallabies went to New Zealand for a three Test series. Australia won the first Test at Athletic Park, Wellington, by 13 12, lost the second 12 13 at Carisbrook, Dunedin, and raced home winners by 22 to 9 at Eden Park, Auckland.
The first Test was played without the rebel Cavaliers, the team from New Zealand that went with official approval to South Africa, but after the All Black loss they were quickly recalled. The Bledisloe Cup was Australia's.
Greg Campbell wrote, in the Sunday Telegraph: "The victory surpasses the historic Grand Slam achieved by the Wallabies in 1984 and now elevates Australia to the pinnacle of world rugby, with only the isolation of the South African Springboks casting a slight shadow over the claim.
''Unlike the 1949 Wallabies, when the bulk of New Zealand's leading players were touring South Africa, yesterday's victory was against the best the Kiwis could muster."
Coach Alan Jones put it into his own personal perspective when he proclaimed: "This is bigger than Quo Vadis. This is bigger than anything."
Long time Wallaby breakaway Simon Poidevin said simply: "Now I can live in peace."
The tour to Argentina followed in 1987, and it was about this time that the wheels started to fall off for Alan Jones, despite his excellent record. Perhaps he had reached his’ use by' date, perhaps it was time for a change, perhaps many of the players had lost their motivation or were simply not good enough.
Whatever the reasons, the Wallabies did not perform up to expectation in the 1987 World Cup. In Lawton's words: "Jones is a great coach and motivator. But I believe we overtrained for the World Cup. We trained in Sydney, it was hot as hell, and we went at it 3 4 hours daily. It was not the same build up as in the British Isles. We played some good games in the World Cup, but against France in the semi final we were exhausted, zapped, ambushed."
New Zealand flogged France to win the World Cup, while the Wallabies lost ignominously to Wales in Rotorua for third place. It was a sad ending to their World Cup campaign. A month after the World Cup the Wallabies had their chance to rectify matters at Concord Oval against the world champions, but were soundly beaten by 16 20. Lawton said: "In my opinion that All Black side was the best New Zealand team I played."
Alan Jones was deposed as Australian coach in February 1988, and Bob Dwyer took over. The All Blacks thereafter made a sojourn to Australia, Tom playing the three Tests, all of which were won by New Zealand. It was a tough hello' for the new coach.
Then followed a short tour of England, Scotland and Italy. The Wallabies lost to England 19 28, then defeated Scotland (32 13) and Italy (55 6), Tom playing in all internationals. A big personal thrill was playing with his brother Rob in the Murrayfield Test. They were to play three Tests together in their careers.
The British Lions came to Australia in 1989, but the games were very disappointing, Australia winning only the first of three Tests. Tom was still the number one hooker. The games were the catalyst for Dwyer to make sweeping changes to the Wallaby team. Tom, who had played 41 Tests for Australia and was considered among the finest in his position in the world, was devastated when dropped in favour of Phil Kearns, who at that time was only playing second grade for Randwick. Tony Daly was also brought in, and he had not played a senior representative game in his life. As it turned out, the players were to go on to outstanding careers playing for Australia, but it was an enormous personal shock to Lawton.
Tom never felt close to Bob Dwyer from the start, and he never did get an explanation. He did receive a call from Dwyer, just as he was going into a meeting. Dwyer said: "I'm terribly sorry, but that's it!"
Tom thought to himself: "What can you say, what can you do?" He hung up.
It was no easy matter for him to reconcile himself over what had happened. As he said, "I'm not the first or the last to be dropped, but it's a shit house feeling all the same. You can't change what's happened, but it's tough to be objective. It took time to recover, for you know in your heart it's just one bloke's opinion."
Positive responses from others, people who knew what his contribution to the game had been, aided his recovery. He was selected for a World XV to play in South Africa shortly after he was dropped, and that aided partial restoration to his self image.
And he went to a bar to watch the Wallabies play New Zealand, and a fellow, also watching, turned towards him with a look of shock on his face. Then the fellow looked at the TV and shook his head, as if to say to Tom: "Why aren't you there?" Somehow he felt better. But, as he said: "It's very difficult to leave when it is not on your own terms.”
Ex Wallaby Dick Cocks came to Australia on a holiday about this time, and he suggested that Tom go to Durban and play so he did that in 1990 and 1991, and one of the great thrills in his life was playing for Natal and unexpectedly winning the Currie Cup. He said: "It was quite a culture shock. Maybe I should have been born there, as they love their rugby. Actually, they love their rugby, cricket and beer."
Tom did play for Queensland after his South African venture. John Connolly was the coach, and Tom got a little more than normal satisfaction than usual when Queensland defeated NSW.
He retired in 1992, after Souths had won the Grand Final. He had played in 73 matches (41 Tests) for Australia, and 41 games for Queensland. He coached Norths in the Brisbane competition in 1993, and in 1994 Souths. For a time he was Coaching Director of the Queensland Rugby Union, but is now in the business world.
Tom Lawton has successfully made the transition from the playing ranks, and thoroughly enjoyed his excursion into coaching, having that urge of the true competitor to see how far he could progress.
Rugby has been one of the greatest things in his life. As he put it: "I have a million bucks worth of memories. I can go anywhere in the world and I will have friends there. The Wallaby network is amazing."
Money has never been his principal motivation in life. When in 1983 he was selected to go to Fiji, he was working in a hardware store. The manager read of his selection and pulled him aside, saying, "Mate, you've got to make a decision between your sport and your job. If you go to Fiji I'll have to sack you."
Tom quite enjoyed his job, and had little money, but he had no hesitation in saying: "Then sack me now!"
The papers got hold of the story, and eventually he was offered his job back. Just at that time he got a call from Sydney, from the head of TNT, Ross Cribb, who offered him a job in Brisbane, which he took.
As he summed it up: "Hell, I was making about $10,000 a year more than anyone else my age. I went from the shit house to the pent house."
They even paid him when he went away. Support from the TNT company was vital to his having the chance to play international rugby.
Tom Lawton was arguably the greatest Australian hooker since the "prince of hookers", Eddie Bonis, a Queenslander playing in the pre Second World War period. His size and strength in the front row changed the nature of hooking in the modern game. He not only was effective in the tight, he was faster than he appeared and effective in the loose. The ardent spectator will never forget France scoring the final try in the corner in the 1987 World Cup semi final loss. The one who made a glorious run in cover defence in a desperate bid to tackle Serge Blanco was none other than the hooker, Tom Lawton. The backrow was nowhere to be seen. It was typical of the effort he put into the game whenever he played. His grandfather would have been proud of him, but more so if he had seen him at Wales in 1984 kissing the hallowed turf after the Welsh had been beaten.
Full Name: Cameron Paul Lillicrap
Date of Birth: 19/04/1963
Place of Birth: Brisbane
School Attended: Brisbane Grammar School
Wallaby Number: 653
Test Cap: 7
Non-Test Cap: 12
Test Points: 0
Position Played: Prop
State: QLD (1984-94)
Clubs: Queensland University
Tours: 1984 UK, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1991 NZ, 1991 WC, 1992 UK
Regarded by many as one of the finest loose-head props to have played for Australia, this powerhouse player continued his involvement with the Wallabies by becoming the physiotherapist for the Australian team and at times being involved in a number of coaching roles under a variety of Australian coaches.
Alan Jones, one of these coaches, hailed him as having the potential to become the best prop in the world. Unfortunately as this prediction looked like becoming a reality, he suffered a number of injuries so records will show him as representing his country seven times at Test level and 12 other occasions against various provincial teams around the world.
Sadly one of these injuries occurred very early in his career while playing for Queensland. A bad ankle injury had been wrongly diagnosed and ongoing problems had come that.
Lillicrap had shown tremendous form and potential as a member of the Australian Schools’ Representative Team. He enhanced this reputation while playing for the University of Queensland in the Brisbane Club competition, and very early in his career he was selected to play for Queensland, making his debut in 1984 against the New Zealand provincial side, North Auckland. He, Stan Pilecki, Mark McBain and Tom Lawton were instrumental in Queensland dominance in that facet of play at that time.
In that same year he received his call-up to the ranks of the Wallabies. They had a new coach, Alan Jones, and a new captain, Andrew Slack, so at the very early age for a prop, 21, he joined these newcomers in a tour to Fiji. In 1985 he made his Test debut playing against that country in the Test in Sydney, won by Australia 31-9.
It was a time of glorious of frontrowers In Australia and while he continued to serve his apprenticeship at national level behind Rodriguez and McInytre, he helped the Queensland team to be a dominant force in Australian rugby
John Connelly is effusive in his praise of Lillicrap, finding him to be very professional and helpful. He says that Lillicrap’s contribution to Queensland rugby from 1983 to 1994 cannot be underestimated. As part of the Queensland pack at this time, the scrum stamped its authority on all the teams they played and Cameron Lillicrap was an important cog in that machine.
This dominance reached its fruition and he stated that one of the highlights of his playing career was to be part of the Queensland team that won the Super 10 final in Natal, by 21 to 9..
At national level he had to wait from 1981 until 17th August 1985 when he earned his next Test cap when he came on to replace Enrique Rodriguez in the international against Fiji at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
1987 was a tumultuous time for Australian rugby. There were hints of players planning a rebel tour to South Africa at a time when intense planning was going into the first of the World Cups.
Unfortunately, Australia was not able to reach the heights of the early eighties with a sad climax in the last game against Wales in Rotorua, when Australia lost 21-22 and had a player, David Codey, sent off, all in Andrew’s last Test as captain.
Still inconvenienced by earlier injuries Lillicrap continued to play to his usual high standard at State and National level. He was selected as a reserve in the internationals at this time and earned his next cap in July, 1989, when he played against the British Isles in Sydney, a match won 30-12 by Australia. He was reinjured and it required two operations to remedy the problem.
This was followed the next year in October when, as part of the World Cup Squad, he played against Western Samoa for a 9-3 win, and then joined the celebrations as Australia banished the disappointments of four years previously, by winning the first of their World Cups by beating England 12-6 at Twickenham.
He toured Ireland and Ulster with the Wallabies in 1992 where he fractured his thumb and was forced to return.
While not on the field for long on his last tour, it was a fitting conclusion to the playing career of an important player in the Australian team and heralded the contribution he was later to make to the game.
Full Name: Mark Ian McBain
Date of Birth: 3/10/1959
Place of Birth: Brisbane
Date of Death:
School Attended: Gregory Terrace College
Wallaby Number: 637
Test Cap: 7
Non-Test Cap: 37
Test Points: 0
Position Played: Hooker
State: QLD (1980-90)
Tours: 1983 FR, 1984 UK, 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987A RG, 1988 Europe, 1990 NZ
A serious injury is regarded as being responsible for the premature retirement of this tyro from the Wallabies in 1990 after seven Tests and the prospect of many before him.
He was considered to be almost a third flanker and always played above his relatively light weight of 89 kg and 175 cm in height. He always threw himself into everything he did, possibly to compensate for his “small neck” and this undoubtedly caused the number of injuries he faced - one of the most serious being the fractured skull he suffered in 1983 playing France - an incident regarded by many as a disgrace to International rugby - an injury which would force the retirement of many.
McBain, in some ways, was unfortunate to be playing his representative rugby at the same time as Tom Lawton, a team -mate from Queensland who also achieved fame. Queensland selectors preferred McBain for the State team but the Australian selectors often opted for Lawton because of his bulk and equal skills for an Australian team noted in that era for its size and ball running capacity.
Nevertheless it says much for McBain’s tenacity that he still played seven Tests for Australia and in 37 other games while on tour.
Always a thinker and a student of the game McBain ,after retiring, put his energy and skills into a successful coaching career . He coached his old school - St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace to two GPS Premierships, in 1997 and 2004 as well as having stints at Kobe Steel in Japan , winning the National Championship for the first time when he was there, University Club and later Easts Rugby Club, in the Brisbane Grade Competition.
He took over as Queensland Coach at the end of 2000 and guided them in a relatively successful time for 2001 and 2002.
He followed on the John Connolly era - a time of undoubted success in which Queensland came to be considered as one of the most successful and feared provincial teams in the World - it was always going to be a difficult task but McBain was very disappointed not to be reappointed in 2003.
It is the character of the man that despite this he continued his involvement in rugby. He helped again at his old school of Gregory Terrace where he played at First XV level , and then on to Eastern Suburbs Premier Grade Team in the Brisbane Competition.
His ultra- competitiveness has always been evident, as a player at school, later for his club Brothers and then for Queensland and Australia.
Mark Ella says that there is one word to describe Mark McBain - “Heart.” He goes on to say that “Macca” just goes on for ever on guts and determination and gets around the paddock so quickly.
Full Name: Mark Norman Hartill
Date of Birth: 29/05/1964
Place of Birth: North Sydney
Date of Death:
School Attended: Crows Nest HS, Sydney
Wallaby Number: 656
Test Cap: 20
Non-Test Cap: 25
Test Points: 4 (1 try)
Position Played: Prop
State: NSW 55 (1986-97)
Clubs: Norths (Syd), Gordon
Tours: 1986 NZ, 1987 WC, 1987 ARG, 1988 Europe, 1989 FR, 1993 FR, 1995 WC
Mark `Bam Bam’ Hartill was a solid prop whose time at the top coincided with a period of real strength in the Australian game, as the Wallabies made the step into the top bracket of rugby-playing nations where they have remained to this day. He had a decade in international rugby and, despite fierce competition from ‘Topo’ Rodriguez, Andy McIntyre, Ewen McKenzie and Tony Daly, racked up 20 Tests among 45 matches in all for Australia. If the strength of top teams can be reckoned as much by those omitted as by those chosen, the presence of Hartill in a reserve role told of real depth in Australian propping circles.
The first of his many matches against visiting international teams came in 1985, when he played for New South Wales ‘B’ against Fiji. The State team, fielded without much preparation, lost heavily but Hartill had at least been noticed. Although three visiting teams played in Australia in 1986 none had a particularly long programme and the only New South Wales match, against Argentina, saw Rodriguez and Greg Burrow in the front row. Hartill did play one match in the new South Pacific championship, a round-robin competition that featured Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury from New Zealand, New South Wales and Queensland from Australia and Fiji, but he was still earning his stripes.
He was not long past his 22nd birthday when he first made the Wallaby team, for the 1986 New Zealand tour. This was a very fine side that created its own piece of history, becoming just the fourth team from any country to win a series in New Zealand and only the second Australian team, after the 1949 side, to do so. Hartill would probably not have played such a big part in the 14-match tour had McIntyre been available – Cameron Lillicrap, another with Test experience, also withdrew - but he took his chance in first-rate style, playing eight matches including all three Tests. While the New Zealand game was rocked by the Cavaliers tour of South Africa (an unauthorised tour made by most of the players who had been chosen for the aborted 1985 trip), the Wallabies proved themselves capable of beating any combination they were confronted with and, once the Cavaliers had served their ban, gave the New Zealanders their biggest beating in the last Test. Australia, clearly the better side, deserved to win this series 3-0 rather than 2-1, as referee Derek Bevan was in a small minority who believed Steve Tuynman had not scored a match-winning try in the closing stages of the Dunedin Test. One thing was evident throughout and that was that the Wallaby scrum was considerably better than the home packs it faced. No team ever succeeds in New Zealand without a decent forward platform and the final record of 11 wins, one draw and only two defeats – Canterbury was the only provincial side to lower the tourists' colours – was no more than the team deserved and Hartill had established himself as a Test-calibre prop.
Never in doubt for Australia's World Cup squad in 1987, he received limited field time and only played against the two Asian teams, South Korea (before the Cup) and Japan, when he scored his only Test try, during the home season. These sides were no real challenge for the 1.80m, 102kg (he later bulked up to about 113kg) Hartill, but he was unable to beat out the established pair of McIntyre and Rodriguez in the main matches. He did make the Argentina tour at the end of the year, playing three provincial matches and the drawn first Test.
Hartill made a slow start to 1988, appearing in the SPC but not playing against England when one position was open in the front row as Rodriguez had retired. The place was filled by Rob Lawton in the first Test and Parramatta's little-remembered Robert Kay in the second, but Hartill was back by the time the All Blacks toured. This was a very strong side that returned home undefeated and Hartill faced them three times – for Australia ‘B’ and in the first two Tests. He retired from the second with knee ligament damage, which disrupted the Wallaby forwards just as a famous victory was beckoning and, for the second time in three Tests, Hartill was part of a side that played a 19-19 draw. He missed the remainder of the domestic season but made the British tour, playing seven lesser matches and the Tests against England and Italy which made him one of the busiest players on the 15-match tour.
The 1989 season was remembered most for the Lions tour, the brawling that marred the second Test and David Campese's in-goal howler that led to the series literally being thrown away. Through it all Hartill (a first-Test replacement but a starter in the other two) battled away in a new-look front row that underwent frequent changes as McIntyre was making ready to follow Rodriguez into retirement. Hartill, Lillicrap and Lawton were cycled through in various combinations while a newcomer, the tough Brisbane cop Dan Crowley, also played his share. Hartill actually faced the Lions five times – the three Tests, for Australia ‘B’ and New South Wales – and held his own with the strong visiting front-rowers. He made the French tour at the end of the year but after that the new force in Wallaby front row play – the trio of McKenzie, Daly and Phil Kearns – was in place and would remain so for the next three years.
Hartill took it on the chin and battled away for New South Wales without ever really threatening to break into what had become Test rugby's most stable trio. It was something of a surprise when he was recalled to the Wallabies after four years in the wilderness but not shocking when his part on the 1993 end of year tour was limited to the midweek matches. He then dropped out of the national frame again in 1994 but, a month before his 31st birthday, was reintroduced to the Test team for the two-match series with Argentina. Few Wallabies have gone five and a half years between caps but Harthill made the most of his chance. Good displays won him a place in the World Cup squad but, for the second time in his career, he had only one minor match at the tournament. This time it was against Canada in a disappointing showing by the defending champions and Australia was eliminated at the quarter-final by England when Rob Andrew kicked a late dropped goal.
Hartill played both Bledisloe Cup Tests after the teams had returned home – the first with Crowley and the second partnered by McKenzie – but those matches are more or less forgotten in the WRC furore that swirled around Australia and New Zealand as they were being played. The Sydney match, the 100th between the countries, was also the occasion when the threatened split went from being shadowy gossip to hard, confirmed fact and there were plenty of tensions in the rival camps. Unnoticed at the time, Hartill had played his last match for Australia and a real trooper quietly passed from the international scene. He did at least manage to collect a little of the riches now available to players, being a member of the inaugural Super 12 Waratahs team before finally calling it quits.