Representative Honours: Australian Under 21s 2003-2004, Australia A 2004-2005, Australian Wallabies 2005-
Senior Tours: France & UK 2005, UK, Ireland & Italy 2006, RWC (France) 2007, Hong Kong & Europe 2008, Japan & Europe 2009, Hong Kong & Europe 2010, RWC (New Zealand) 2011, England & Wales 2011, Europe 2012; UK/Europe 2013
The most capped hooker in Australian Test history, STEPHEN MOORE picked up where he left off in 2012 to be one of only six players to feature in all 15 Qantas Wallabies Test matches last year.
Buoyed by the birth of his first son, Theodore, Moore produced arguably his best season to date as his memorable campaign included career-best form for the Qantas Wallabies and also a Super Rugby Final appearance.
Entering 2014 with 91 Test caps and on the brink of his Test century, Moore is now in line to add to what has already been a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey.
Moore’s consistency as a Test rake continued to be rewarded last year with new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie adding him to his extended 40-man squad for the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
He would go on to start in every Test match during the year, including a Man of Gold performance in Australia’s convincing 50-20 victory over Italy in Turin.
His form in 2013 came off the back of a 2012 campaign where Moore became the 24th Australian, and the 60th player overall, to play 100 games of Super Rugby.
Four years ago, Moore also became just the fourth Australian hooker to surpass a half century of Test matches when the Qantas Wallabies eclipsed South Africa during an epic contest at Bloemfontein.
Such has been the consistency of Moore’s presence with the Wallabies; despite missing five Tests after straining his hamstring prior to Australia’s Test with South Africa in Perth in 2012; he has still sat out just 14 of the 74 Tests played by Australia since the start of 2008.
Even allowing for the injury, Moore still featured in 10 of the 15 Tests played by Australia in 2012 – the sixth occasion across the nine completed years of his Test career that he had compiled a tally of appearances in double figures. This followed a 2011 season where he appeared in 11 of the 13 Tests played by the Wallabies, while sharing in a maiden Tri Nations success after seven years of trying.
Moore also attended his second Rugby World Cup, picking up a bronze medal, which represented a significant improvement on Australia’s quarter-final exit from the 2007 event.
The 33rd Australian to reach 50 Tests, Moore celebrated that achievement with a try as Australia beat South Africa 41-39 to win on the high veldt in the Republic for the first time in 47 years. He was rated by no less of a judge than the All Black legend Sean Fitzpatrick as the premier hooker in the game in 2008, but was forced to endure a late entry to the Test scene a year later, being delayed until the Tri Nations after he broke his jaw during the Brumbies’ final match of Super Rugby against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Recent years have seen Australia blessed with two powerful hookers, with Moore enjoying a strong rivalry with Tatafu Polota-Nau, which has brought the best out of both players.
Moore, who started out at the Reds before switching to the Brumbies in 2009, first made the Wallabies in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2007 that he began to establish himself, starting in all but one of Australia’s matches at the Rugby World Cup.
Moore made his Test debut off the bench in the same game – against Samoa at Sydney in 2005 – that saw his good mate Rocky Elsom first grace the Australian jersey. Both players went on to surpass 50 Test caps for their country in 2010.
By 2008, he was a permanent fixture, joining flyhalf Matt Giteau as the only player to appear in all 14 Tests played by the Wallabies during a record breaking year. He was man of the match during Australia’s 28-14 Cook Cup defeat of England at Twickenham – a performance that drew the illustrious praise bestowed on him by the 92-cap All Black hooking legend, Fitzpatrick. Although he surrendered the starting position to Polota-Nau at the back end of the 2009 Tri Nations, Moore still featured in all but one of the 14 Tests that Australia played that year.
Born in the Middle East, but of west Irish descent, Moore immigrated to the Queensland mining town of Mount Morgan with his family when he was five. He still has a large family based in Ireland, which includes cousin Patrick O’Rourke, who in 2009 appeared for Meath in a Gaelic Football quarter-final at Croke Park. Meath lost that match to the eventual All Ireland champions, Kerry. Later that year, Moore got to experience playing at the spiritual home of Irish sport himself, when the Wallabies drew 20-20 with Ireland during that year’s Spring Tour.
Outside of his Gaelic Football interest, Moore retains his Irish family’s love of horse racing; and dreamed of being a jockey as a child, eventually surrendering the idea in his early teens when it became apparent that his body wouldn’t be suited to such a pastime. The affable front rower is also a passionate fan of Liverpool Football Club, and has twice found the time to watch the ‘Reds’ in action during visits to the United Kingdom on Spring Tours.