Australia national rugby union team

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Australia
Image:Australia.gif
Union Australian Rugby Union
Nickname(s) Wallabies
Coach Image:Flag of Australia.svg John Connolly
Captain Stirling Mortlock
Most caps George Gregan (123)
Top scorer Michael Lynagh (911)
Image:Kit left arm goldgreenlower.png Image:Kit body thingreenlowsidesongold.png Image:Kit right arm goldgreenlower.png
Image:Kit shorts.png
Image:Kit socks.png
 
Team colours
First international
British Isles 3 - 13 Australia
(24 June, 1899)
Largest win
Namibia 0 - 142 Australia
(25 October, 2003)
Worst defeat
South Africa 61 - 22 Australia
(23 August, 1997)
World Cup
Appearances 5 (First in 1987)
Best result Champions, 1991, 1999

The Australian national rugby union team is the representative side of Australia in rugby union. Nicknamed the Wallabies or currently the Qantas Wallabies for sponsorship reasons, the team represents Australia at international rugby union competitions, including the Rugby World Cup and the Tri Nations.

The Wallabies have competed in all five of the rugby union World Cups that have thus far been staged. They won the World Cup on two occasions, in 1991 and 1999 and also lost in the final match in extra time to England in 2003 competition. The Wallabies are governed by the Australian Rugby Union.

The Wallabies play in Australia's traditional sporting colours of green and gold, and the Wallaby jersey is considered the most recognisable Australian sporting jersey.<ref name=soc>Template:Cite web</ref>

Contents

[edit] Strip

With the first internationals being played in 1899, with their being no national jersey in place, state colours (matches played in Queensland and New South Wales) were used, with the Australian Coat of Arms replacing the state logo. Thus a blue jersey was worn in the NSW games, and a maroon for the match in QLD. In the early 1900s, the ARU started to look for an appropriate national jersey. Though throughout the early 1900s, games were played in jerseys with blue and maroon hoops. From 1908 to 1912, the emblem of a Waratah was predominantly used, with Australia written underneath, or simply an 'A' over the state emblem. Since the NSWRU was practically the governing body in Australia at the time, the blue jersey was quite common, as was the state flower, being the Waratah.

In 1928, respective governing bodiess of NSW and QLD agreed that 'the Australian amateur representative colours of green and gold, should be adopted'. The following year, the All Blacks came to Australia, and the jersey worn was emerald green with the Australian Coat of Arms with green socks with bars on the top. This jersey remained the same, with a few variations, mainly throughout the 1930s, with variations on it, or changes due to jersey conflicts. In 1961 a gold jersey was used for a South African tour, and the gold has remained ever since.

In late 2005, before departing on their Spring tour of the United Kingdom and France, the Australian Rugby Union unveiled a new-look jersey for the Wallabies. The new jersey, custom-designed by Canterbury, was also designed in consultation with several Wallabies as well receiving feedback from fans and rugby figures. The main change in the jersey was that the green hoops were removed from the sleeves. Instead, green panels were placed under the sleeves and down the side of the jersesy. The green material, which is strechable, is designed to improve freedom of movement.

[edit] Wallabies

The nickname Wallabies is a reference to the Wallaby, a marsupial that is widely distributed throughout Australia. The name has its origins in conjunction with the first United Kingdom and North America tour by the Australian team in 1908, in which New Zealand had just completed, which the English media had dubbed the All Blacks in reference to their black attire. It was suggested by the media that Australia should too have such a nickname. Rabbits was one of the names suggested, though this was turned down, as they did not want the national team to represent an imported 'pest'. They opted for the native Wallaby.

The nickname was chosen only eight years after federation, and as such, members of the NSWRU did infact still uphold some British beliefs, so it is thought that the NSWRU chose Wallaby over Kangaroo, as it was seen as more preferable over Kangaroos as "Wallaby" was seen as both Australian as well as British (due to its use in the British Navy as slang for a native Australian who had joined up), whereas Kangaroo was just a reference to an Australian. However, it was only these touring parties, which were nicknamed the Wallabies, whereas when Australia played domestically, they were simply referred to as internationals. This changed in the 1980s and today all Australian internationals are called Wallabies.

In 2006, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first federally registered Australian trade mark, business and industry members nominated 40 of Australia's most prominent trademarks, one of which was the Wallabies. This list was then shortened to a top 10, which the Wallabies were included in, alongside names such as Vegemite and Qantas (who are also the official sponsors of the Wallbabies).

[edit] History

[edit] Origins

After William Webb Ellis supposedly picked up the ball and ran with it in 1823, the sport of rugby football would have been sent out to Australia with the new colonists soon after. There are reports of early games of rugby between the army and the crews of visiting ships being played at Barrack Square in Sydney in the 1820s.[citation needed] The first recorded game of Rugby in Australia was on 25 July 1839 and involved members of the military. Soon after, the game spread throughout the new colonies, and the game enjoyed much more popularity than in England.[citation needed]

However the game was firmly established in Sydney where it developed a strong following. The recognised first club was the Sydney University Football Club in 1864 (the word "football" was used for both Australian rules football and rugby as well as soccer). By 1874, there were enough clubs to be able to create a Sydney metropolitan competition.

But the new league suffered a blow in 1877 when 'Waratah' Rugby Club invited Australian rules club Carlton to play two matches, one under rugby rules and one under Australian rules. On Saturday 23rd June, 3,000 spectators watched Waratah beat Carlton at rugby at the Albert Cricket Ground in Redfern. In the return leg, Carlton defeated Waratah under Australian rules. A week later over 100 footballers formed the New South Wales Football Association (NSWFA) to play the Australian game. With its origins, image and administration anchored in England, supporters of rugby saw the code as a symbol and reminder of their Englishness. They subsequently used their political contacts to have Australian football banned from Sydney's enclosed grounds, this led to the collapse of the NSWFA in 1893.

The first inter-colonial game occurred in 1882, when players from the four Queensland clubs (who played both rugby and Australian rules football) travelled to NSW. NSW won by 28 points to 4 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of 4,000 spectators. In 1883, the Southern Rugby Union (New South Wales) toured New Zealand becoming the first team in the world to tour overseas. A New Zealand team toured in 1884 defeating New South Wales each time in a series of three matches, and winning all nine matches on tour.

The first tour by a British team took place in 1888. A British Isles team toured the Australian colonies and New Zealand, though no test matches were played. The players were drawn mainly from England and the Scottish borders, though there were representatives from all four home unions. This tour was not sanctioned by the Rugby Football Union as the tour was organised by entrepreneurs and thus contravened the strict regulations the union had pertaining to professionalism.

In 1899, the first officially sanctioned British Isles team toured Australia. Four Tests were played between Australia and the British Isles (three in Sydney and one in Brisbane). Although all styled as "Australia", the teams were a representative of the colony in which the match was played. Accordingly the team wore the blue of New South Wales when playing in Sydney, and the maroon of Queensland when playing in Brisbane. The tourists won all their games except the first, which was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and was won 13-3 by Australia.

[edit] Early 20th century

The first contest between Australia and New Zealand was played on 15th August, 1903 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Despite Australia losing 22-3 this tour greatly increased the popularity of rugby and large crowds started attending grade matches in Sydney and Brisbane. New Zealand winger Billy Wallace scored 13 of their 22 points. There was, as of yet, no trophy for competition for the trans-tasman rivalry. That same year the first Australian representative team, the first Wallabies, went on tour. Sailing on the steamship 'Omrah', the team spent nine months touring the United Kingdom and North America. They won 32 of the 38 matches played.

In 1903, Aussie rules formed the New South Wales Football League (NSWFL) and recommenced hostilities with rugby union. The private schools remained loyal to the English code while the public schools were receptive to the Australian game. The battle of the codes kept rugby union weaker than it was in other countries around the world.

In 1907 the New South Wales Rugby League was formed, star player Dally Messenger was poached<ref name=dallym>Template:Cite web</ref> , and many of the crowds followed. The 1908 party to tour Britain remained strong, though. They were dubbed 'rabbits' in the British press, but to counter this they came up with the nickname that would stick with the side Wallabies. The 1908 tour coincided with the London Olympic Games in which rugby union was a sport. The Australian team won the gold medal by defeating Cornwall, the Champion English county representing Great Britain. When the team returned home, eleven members of the team joined professional rugby league clubs. In 1909 a series of four exhibition matches were played between the Kangaroos and the Wallabies.

Australia throughout most of the 20th century were a consistently reasonable side, however they were clearly not up to the standards of the major dominant sides such as New Zealand or South Africa's Springboks. The key to this was because union in Australia as in elsewhere was an amateur sport, unlike the professional rugby league which quickly gained support in the working-class communities and lured many star union players away from the amateur code.

The last test before the start of World War I was played against New Zealand in July 1914, but the war had a devastating effect on rugby union in Australia. With so many young players enlisting to fight, the union authorities decided it was unpatriotic to play rugby while thousands of young Australian men were being sent overseas to fight in the First World War. Competitions all but closed down in New South Wales and did so in Queensland where it did not commence again until 1928. With only one alternative, players switched in huge numbers to rugby league.

During the 1920s the only representative team available for the international competition were the New South Wales Waratahs, all thirty-nine internationals played by them have been accorded retrospective Wallaby status. In 1921 South Africa visits Australia and New Zealand for the first time winning all three tests in Australia. The most famous Waratah team was the 1927/28 Waratahs who toured the United Kingdom, France and North America, introducing a style of open, running rugby never seen before, but which has been the stamp of the Australian game ever since. They won 24 and drew two of their 31 official matches.

The re-emergence of The Queensland Rugby Union in 1928/9 immediately made a forceful impact on the performances of the Australian team, which defeated New Zealand in all 3 tests for the first time. Australian Rugby Union adopted green and gold as its official colours in 1929. The Australian jersey was, at the time, green with the Australian coat of arms.

In 1931, the then Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe donated a rugby trophy to foster sporting ties between Australia and New Zealand. Bearing his name, the Bledisloe Cup was established. The inaugural competition was won by New Zealand two games to one.

The Wallabies made their first tour to South Africa in 1933 for a four test series, which was won by South Africa three games to one. Australia won the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 1934. The tour of the 1939 Wallabies was cancelled as war was declared a day after the team arrived in England. After two weeks in England, the team returned home.

[edit] Post war

After eight years, the first Test to mark the end of WWII was played at Carisbrook between Australia and New Zealand in 1946, which New Zealand won 31 to 8. Australia did not win a game on the three match tour; being held 20 to nil by the NZ Maori, and then losing 14 to 10 to the All Blacks the following week. After losing a two-test series to the All Blacks, the Wallabies embarked on a tour of the home nations throughout 1947/48. In the four tests against the Home Unions, the Australian try line was never crossed, with even England and Wales being held scoreless. The successful tour fell short of an undefeated run when the Wallabies lost to France in their last match in Paris.

After returning from the successful European tour, the Wallabies hosted the NZ Maori in a three match series in 1949; both sides winning once, and one match resulting in a draw. In September of that year, the Wallabies played the All Blacks twice in New Zealand, losing the first at Athletic Park, but beating them at Eden Park in the second test. The British Isles came to Australia in 1950, and won both of the tests against the Wallabies. The following year Australia fell two a three test whitewash to the All Blacks. The Wallabies found a win in July of 1952, defeating Fiji at the SCG, though they then lost the second test by two points to the Fijians. Australia managed to beat the All Blacks at Jade after the Fijian series, however they lost the second test.

In 1953 Australia toured South Africa for the second time and although they lost the series they were given a standing ovation after defeating South Africa 18-14 in the 2nd Test at Newlands. Wallaby Captain John Solomon was carried off the field by two South African players. This was the first Springbok defeat for 15 years.

In 1957-58 they became the only one of the southern hemisphere sides to have lost to all four Home nations in one tour. They also lost to France on the same tour. The Australians adopted their now familiar gold jersey for the 1961 Wallaby tour to South Africa, as their previous green jerseys might have caused confusion with the Springbok jersey. It has remained predominantly gold ever since.

[edit] The 1960s

No Wallaby tests were contested in 1960, so the first match of the new decade was the win over Fiji at the SCG in the first match of a three test series. This was followed by a second win, although Fiji grabbed a draw in the third and final test. The Wallabies then headed to South Africa, were the lost to the Springboks in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. After returning home, they faced France at the SCG, who beat them 15 to 8.

In 1962, the Wallabies played the All Blacks five times throughout the year, losing all but the one 9-all draw at Athletic Park in Wellington. After defeating England in 1963 in Sydney, the Wallabies beat the Springboks in consecutive Tests in South Africa, the first team to do so since the 1896 British team.

Fewer tests were played throughout the mid-1960s, with the Wallabies only playing the All Blacks in 1964, though it was on three occasions. The Wallabies won the third test after losing the first two, all of which were played in New Zealand. The following year Australia hosted the Springboks for two tests, winning both. The British Isles came the following year, defeating the Wallabies 11 to 8 at the SCG, before hammering them 31 nil in Brisbane. Australia then left for Europe in that December, losing to Wales and Scotland.

The tour continued into the following year, which saw Australia defeat England, though losing to Ireland and France. Australia then hosted Ireland, who beat them again in Sydney, which was followed by a 20 point loss to the All Blacks. The following year, the Wallabies lost to the All Blacks by just one point, and defeated France by the same margin. After losing to Ireland and Scotland on tour, Australia hosted Wales who also defeated them. The Wallabies then left for a somewhat controversial tour to South Africa.

[edit] The 1970s

There was only one Wallaby test played in 1970, which was contested at the SCG against Scotland, which Australia soundly won, by 20 points. The 1971 South African tour of Australia became infamous in Australian sporting history. Prior to the tour, calls were being made for Australia to cut sporting ties with the republic due to apartheid. The tour went ahead, with the support of the Australia Federal Government, though trouble was evident from the beginning, as protesters awaited the Springboks' arrival at the airport. Tour matches in Adelaide and Perth went, for the large part, undisrupted.

A match at Olympic Park in Melbourne saw around 5,000 people march on the stadium to disturb the match, though police had set up a wall around the stadium, and arrested 140 people. For the first test, against the Wallabies, several people attempted to saw down the goal posts at the SCG. In addition, a huge anti-apartheid effigy was temporarily hung from the Harbour Bridge. The Springboks, despite the problems, won the first test. As a pre-caution, a state of emergency was issued in Queensland for the second test, with the game also being moved from Ballymore to the Exhibition Ground so barricades could be erected. The match was also won by the Springboks. The third test was played at the SCG, and the Springboks, perhaps quite surprisingly, had finished the test series 3 to nil. Australia toured France in November of that year, defeating France in Toulouse, but losing the second test in Paris.

After the French tour, France visited Australia in June of 1972, playing a two test series against the Wallabies, which France drew once and won once, though they only won by a single point in the second test. The Wallabies then left for New Zealand for a three test series against the All Blacks, losing all three. The Wallabies, up to then winless in 1972, stopped in Fiji on their way home and managed a three point win over Fiji in Suva.

The following year the Wallabies hosted Tonga, and after winning the first test, the second saw a result of an 11-16 loss to Tonga in Ballymore, Brisbane in June. This led Australia to start recruiting players from the South Sea islands.<ref name= "dallym" /> The Wallabies also had a short tour of the United Kingdom in November, in which they were hammered 24 nil by Wales, and similarly defeated 20 to 3 by England. In 1974, Australia hosted the All Blacks for a three test series, losing two, but managing a draw in Brisbane.

The Wallabies were back to winning ways by mid 1975, defeating England in a two test series at home. The Wallabies then played Japan for the first time, trouncing them by 30 points in the first of two matches, and then winning 50 to 25 in the second. After four wins that year, the Wallabies headed off to the Northern hemisphere for matches against Scotland and Wales, although they were not able to score a try in either of the losses. The tour continued into the new year, and Australia went down to England at Twickenham, but were able to get over the Irish at Lansdowne Road. On their way home, the Wallabie played one more match - in Los Angeles, against the United States. The match was won by Australia, 24 to 12. In June of that year, Australia hosted Fiji for a three test series and recorded solid wins on all three occasions. The Wallabies finished the year with two tests against France in France, but lost both of them. There were no Wallaby tests played in 1977.

Wales came to Australia in 1978, and Australia defeated them 18 to 8 at Ballymore, and then again by two points at the SCG. This was followed by a three match series with the All Blacks, which although New Zealand won the first two, Australia defeated them in the last test at Eden Park with Greg Cornelsen scoring four tries. The following year Ireland visited Australia, defeating the Wallabies in two tests. After the losses to Ireland, Australia hosted the All Blacks for a single test at the SCG, which the Wallabies won 12 to six. Australia then left for Argentina for two tests. After going down 24 to 13 in the first, the Wallabies finished the 1970s on a high note, defeating Argentina 17 to 12 in Buenos Aires.

[edit] The 1980s

In 1980, Australia won the Bledisloe Cup for only the fourth time, defeating New Zealand 2-1. This was the start of a successful era for the Wallabies. In 1984, Australia toured the Home nations with a young side, and new coach Alan Jones. For the first time they won a "Grand Slam", beating England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales as well as defeating a strong Barbarians side. The tour signalled the emergence of the Wallabies as a serious force on the world stage. Young gun Mark Ella scored a try in each match. Other players on the rise included David Campese, Michael Lynagh, Nick Farr-Jones and Simon Poidevin who would all prove instrumental in future years.

Australia toured New Zealand in 1986 playing three games. For the first time they won two away from home and only lost the third by one point. The Wallabies were jubilant - for the first time they had beaten all the major teams of the world and had become a dominant force in the rugby union world.

Therefore the Wallabies went into the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 feeling quite confident. However the semi-final against France, held at Sydney's Concord Oval, was lost 30-26. France went on to lose the final against New Zealand. Previously they had been far from the world beaters they have become in the last two decades and they remain the only one of the southern hemisphere sides to have lost to all four home nations in one tour, in 1957-58.

[edit] The 1990s

The team regrouped and then went into the 1991 World Cup, held in England, with a renewed attitude and a new coach - Bob Dwyer. The Wallabies cruised to a 38-3 win. There was a scare for them in Dublin against Ireland, but they eased past New Zealand in the semi-final. They faced England in the final in Twickenham and - with the aid of a classic sledging campaign in which the Australians fueled claims to the media regarding England's ability to play a running game. England changed their game plan and Australia battled out a 12-6 win. Victory parades were held back in Australia for the Wallabies and by this stage many players which have become household names in Australia today were on the rise, including John Eales, Tim Horan, Jason Little, Phil Kearns and Willie Ofahengaue, who was also named Man Of The Match in the Final. The 1991 team also had one of the most shortlived careers in Bob Egerton who was an integral part of the Wallibies in his 9 matches.

After this victory, Australian rugby had a slight slump for a few years. However, the mid-90s proved to be some of the most important years in the creation of the modern game. The Wallabies' defence of the World Cup in South Africa in 1995 was a rare disappointment for them. An opening defeat against the home side was followed by an exit in the quarter-final against England and the boot of Rob Andrew. This was their worst ever result at a World Cup. The creation of the Tri Nations and Super 12 tournaments, and the entire professional revolution brought rugby union much more attention and acclaim. Indeed, Australia, and England, despite some growing pains, appear to have benefitted unequivocally from the professionalization of the game. In particular in Australia there was much more expectation for performance, when the game had more popularity and media coverage. In response to rugby's move to professionalism, the Rugby Union Players' Association of Australia (RUPA) was established in October 1995, with the aim of safeguarding the interests of Australia's professional rugby players.

The Australians again had a new coach Rod Macqueen and new young players on the rise - Matt Burke, George Gregan, Stephen Larkham, Joe Roff and Toutai Kefu. The Wallabies won the semi-final 27-21 against defending champions South Africa at the 1999 World Cup after a memorable drop goal in extra time by five-eighth Larkham (his first ever attempt in a test match). The final against France at Millennium Stadium was easily won by 35 to 12, the majority of which was courtesy of fullback / goalkicker, Matt Burke.

The Wallabies were again world champions, the first side to ever win the William Webb Ellis trophy twice. Soon after, they were also the victors of the Bledisloe Cup, the Tri Nations and their first ever victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2001. They were also the first international side to beat New Zealand at their stronghold of Dunedin. Rod Macqueen, the coach, and John Eales, the captain, however both retired soon after this, leaving new coach Eddie Jones and new captain George Gregan having to prepare the side for the next world cup to be held on home turf in 2003. The Wallabies started there campaign well with a 24-8 win over Argentina, and two enormous victories over Namibia and Romania. However the team looked shaky after a narrow 17-16 win against Ireland, but the Wallabies booked a place in the quarters, and after they defeated Scotland 33-16, they claimed tone of their greatest victoies over New Zealand to beat the All Blacks 22-10. They came to the final and displayed strong character however were beaten by England 20-17 in extra-time.

[edit] The new millennium

The new team established a training centre at Coffs Harbour and enjoyed mixed success. They were competitive, but inconsistent, and public faith was lacking in the leadup to the 2003 Rugby World Cup. However this faith was all restored in an exciting semi-final match against New Zealand where Australia won 22-10. Australia went on to play England in the final, losing the game in the final minutes of extra time when English fly half Jonny Wilkinson kicked a drop goal. The Wallabies exacted their revenge against England some eight months later, but the team's performance had declined from that game until the 2005 seasons.

Since the loss in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and especially during the 2005 season, the Wallabies' form has not been positive where they only won one test match out of their final nine for the year. By 2005, within the space of four years the Wallabies had lost players such as John Eales, Ben Tune, Totai Kefu and Matthew Burke. In 2005 to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the professionalism of rugby union, the Wallaby Team of the Decade was announced, with John Eales being named captain by a selection panel of 30. At the end of the European tour, various media outlets, such as the Daily Telegraph, called for the sacking of both the coach, Eddie Jones and the captain, George Gregan, as did former coach Alan Jones. The poor form finally resulted in the December 2005 sacking of coach Eddie Jones, with Australian Rugby Union making the decision based on long-term interests for the team, especially the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

After a period of speculation John Connolly was named as the head-coach of Australia in early 2006, who had previously been with the Reds, and since went over to Europe where he found success with clubs such as Stade Français and Bath. Connolly named a somewhat fresh squad for his first task, which was to take the Cook Cup from England, who had soundly defeated them at Twickenham the year before. The Wallabies won both of two tests against England, as well as producing a strong subsequent win over Ireland.

Some media in Australia speculated that the real test of Connolly and the Wallabies would be how they would perform in the 2006 Tri Nations Series. Australia lost by 20 points in their opening fixture in Christchurch against the All Blacks. However, the Wallabies bounced back the following week, at home in Brisbane, where they defeated South Africa by 49 points, and kept them from scoring a single point, culminating in a record score for Australia against the Springboks. In their next game they lost a dour affair to the All Blacks 13-9, showing significant improvement since their first game, but some rugby commentators still consider them to currently lack the necessary substance required to win the Tri Nations Series.

Connolly has made a point of experimenting with the Wallaby lineup in the lead up to the 2007 World Cup. The selection of Matt Giteau at scrum half has proven successful as has the decision to include only one specialist openside flanker which has seen the Wallaby forward pack much more competative in the lineout. The Wallaby scrum, which was neglected during the reign of Eddie Jones, has received much criticism however under the tutelege of Alec Evans and Michael Foley a slow improvement is evident as seen in the match between the midweek Australian team and Ireland A.

[edit] Stadium

Image:World Cup Telstra stadium.jpg
The opening match of the 2003 World Cup at Telstra Stadium.

The Wallabies usually play at Telstra Stadium where they hold the stadium record of 109,874 in a test against the All Blacks<ref name=GuinessBook>Template:Cite web</ref> in Sydney, Telstra Dome where they hold the stadium record of 54,868 against England<ref name=austadiums.com2>Template:Cite web</ref> in Melbourne, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane where they also hold the ground record of 52,498 and Subiaco Oval in Perth. The ground record for Telstra Stadium is also the world record attendance for a rugby union test. Telstra Stadium was the host for 2003 World Cup Final between the Wallabies and England, which Australia lost in extra time, through a drop goal from Jonny Wilkinson.

Earlier stadiums that were traditionally used for Wallabies matches, included Sydney's Concord Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Sports Ground, as well as Ballymore and the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane. It was the SCG that hosted the first ever Australian international, against Great Britain, in 1899.

[edit] National records

Current Wallaby captain George Gregan is easily the most capped Australian player, currently with 123 international caps to his name, which is also a current world record. David Campese is Australia's leading try-scorer, having scored 64 tries in his 101 caps for Australia, which also puts him in second place behind Gregan, as the most capped Wallaby. Campese also held the world record for the most tries in test matches, which was 64, until it was broken by Japan's Daisuke Ohata in early 2006. Campese is also third in overall point scoring, with 315 points. Michael Lynagh holds the first position, with 911 points, and Matt Burke is second, with 878 points.

The longest winning streak by Australia was produced in the early 1990s, and started at the 1991 World Cup in England, with three pool wins, and subsequent quarter-final and semi-final victories over Ireland and the All Blacks respectively. This was followed by the win over England in the final. The streak continued into the following year, for two matches against Scotland and the All Blacks, lasting in total, 10 games. Similarly, the Australian record for the losses in a row is also 10 games, which was sustained from a period from 1899 to 1907, including two British Isles tours, and losses to the All Blacks.

The largest winning margin for the Wallabies was produced at the 2003 World Cup, in which they defeated Namibia 142 points to nil during the pool stages, the match is also the largest number of points scored by Australia. The largest loss, as well as the largest number of points scored against Australia, was by the then world champions South Africa, whom defeated Australia 66 points to 22 in 1997.

[edit] World Cup

Australia has appeared at every Rugby World Cup since the first tournament in 1987. The Wallabies are arguably the most successful nation at the World Cup, being the only nation to have won the Webb Ellis Cup more than once, winning it twice; in 1991 and 1999. Australia co-hosted the 1987 event with New Zealand. They were grouped with England, the United States and Japan in Pool A. In their first ever World Cup match, Australia defeated England 19-6 at Concord Oval in Sydney. The Wallabies defeated their other pool opponants to finish the top of their group and advance to the quarter finals where they defeated Ireland 33-15. They were knocked out by France in the semi-finals, and then lost the third place match against Wales.

Being finalists of the 1987 tournament, the Wallabies automatically qualified for the 1991 World Cup in Europe. Australia again finished at the top of their pool, defeating Western Samoa, Wales and Argentina during the group stages. They met Ireland yet again in the quarter finals, defeating them by one point to go through to the semi-finals, where they defeated the All Blacks 18-6 to qualify for their first World Cup final. Australia defeated England 12-6 at Twickenham to become world champions. Australia were again automatically qualified for the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. Australia finished second in their pool, losing one game to hosts South Africa. They were then knocked out in the quarter finals by England.

The Wallabies finished at the top of their group at the 1999 World Cup in Wales, defeating Ireland, Romania and the United States during the group stages. After defeating hosts Wales in the semi finals, they defeated defending champions South Africa 27-21 to make it to the final. There they defeated France 35 to 12, becoming the first nation to win the World Cup more than once. Australia soley hosted the tournament in 2003, and went undefeated in Pool A, defeating Ireland, Argentina, Romania and Namibia. The Wallabies defeated Scotland in the quarter finals, and then the All Blacks in what was regarded as an upset in the semi-finals, to go to the final. England won the final after extra time with a Jonny Wilkinson drop goal.

[edit] Record

[edit] Overall

Overall v other nations
Nation Games Won Lost Drawn
Argentina 17 12 4 1
Barbarians 9 6 3 0
British and Irish Lions 20 5 15 0
Canada 5 5 0 0
England 34 20 13 1
Fiji 16 13 2 1
France 36 18 16 2
Ireland 25 18 7 0
Italy 8 8 0 0
Japan 3 3 0 0
Korea 1 1 0 0
Namibia 1 1 0 0
New Zealand 124 37 82 5
New Zealand Maori 16 8 6 2
Pacific Islanders 1 1 0 0
Romania 3 3 0 0
Samoa 4 4 0 0
Scotland 24 17 7 0
South Africa 57 21 35 1
Spain 1 1 0 0
Tonga 4 3 1 0
United States 6 6 0 0
Wales 24 14 9 1

[edit] Tri Nations

Nation Games Points Bonus
points
Table
points
Championships
played won drawn lost for against difference
Image:Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand46320141264924+340221507
Image:Flag of Australia.svg Australia46181279791060-9124982
Image:Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa46181279401189-24916902

Updated 11 September 2006

[edit] Competition

Image:All Blacks Wallabies.jpg
The Wallabies playing the All Blacks.

The Wallaby's greatest rivals are considered to be the All Blacks (New Zealand). The two nations compete for the Bledisloe Cup since 1932. The rivalry with South Africa is also great, and the Springboks, along with the Wallabies and All Blacks, contest the Tri Nations Series. Since 1996 the Bledisloe Cup has been contested during the Tri Nations. The longest time the Wallabies have held the Bledisloe is five years, between 1998 to 2002.[citation needed] The Mandela Challenge Plate is now contested between South Africa and Australia during the Tri Nations also.

In more recent years, particularly after the events of the 2003 World Cup final, England have become a popular rival for Australia. The nations have met twice in World Cup finals, 1991 and 2003. In recent years the winner of English-Australian games have been awarded the Cook Cup, which was established in 1997. The winner of Irish-Australian contests are also awarded the Lansdowne Cup.

[edit] Current squad

Teams as of 2006 Super 14 season

Players unavalaible due to injury:

[edit] Notable past players


Inductees to the International Rugby Hall of Fame in bold.

[edit] Upcoming fixtures

[edit] 2007 May/June Tests

[edit] 2007 World Cup

[edit] Recent results

[edit] 2006 Tri Nations Series

[edit] 2006 June tests

[edit] 2006 European tour

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

<references/>

[edit] References

[edit] External links

de:Wallabies (Rugby)

es:Selección nacional de rugby de Australia fr:Équipe d'Australie de rugby à XV it:Nazionale di rugby australiana no:Australias herrelandslag i rugby union pt:Seleção Australiana de Rugby

Australia national rugby union team

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