Vale Eric Tweedale: Oldest living Wallaby passes away, aged 102

Tue, Oct 17, 2023, 7:54 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Rugby community is mourning the passing of legendary Wallaby Eric Tweedale, who was the oldest living Wallaby aged 102.
The Rugby community is mourning the passing of legendary Wallaby Eric Tweedale, who was the oldest living Wallaby aged 102.

The Rugby community is mourning the passing of legendary Wallaby Eric Tweedale, who was the oldest living Wallaby aged 102.

Born in Lancashire, England, Tweedale emigrated to Australia in 1924 and was convinced to take up the game by Wallaby #246 'Wild Bill’ Cerutti.

“I had never seen the game played but Bill said ‘well you’re big enough, would you like me to take you over to Parramatta Rugby Union club to see what we can make of you?’," he said via The 100 Project.

"By the time the season was finished I was wrapped in the game. I was a permanent member of the Parramatta club and was one of the youngest members to ever be picked for the rep team."

He was picked at lock for North v. South and for Metropolitan v. the AIF a year after his first-grade debut for Parramatta.

Tweedale then served in the South Pacific with the Royal Australian Navy, still playing for Parramatta before being picked for Australia in 1946.

He won his first Test cap at prop alongside Wal Dawson and ‘Wallaby Bob’ McMaster in the 1st Test, 31-8 loss to New Zealand at Carisbrook but was forced off after 20 minutes due to a nagging shoulder injury.

In 1947, Tweedale was selected for the third Wallabies tour of the UK and Europe, playing in four of the five Tests on the tour.

He also made history, selected as part of the first ever match for an international team against the Barbarians RUFC.

Tweedale retired with ten Tests to his name in 1949, however, his influence was never lost to Rugby.

He continued on as a player when he moved to Parkes, captaining NSW Country against the British Lions and Central Western against Fiji.

Tweedale eventually returned to Parramatta where he served as captan/coach and played 123 first Grade games for Parramatta.

Eric was a Two Blues Club Patron, former captain, coach, and president along with a Life Member of Merrylands RSL.

After turning 100, he was honoured with the unveiling of the 'Eric Tweedale Stadium', home of the Western Sydney Two Blues.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of our beloved friend and club legend, Eric Tweedale," the club said in a statement.

"Eric is the patron of our club and one of the most sincerest of people you will ever have met."

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