Vale Peter Crittle

Mon, Jul 1, 2024, 5:19 AM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of Wallabies Hall of Fame member and former ARU President Peter Crittle, aged 85.
The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of Wallabies Hall of Fame member and former ARU President Peter Crittle, aged 85.

The Australian Rugby community is mourning the passing of Wallabies Hall of Fame member and former RA President Peter Crittle, aged 85.

Critte leaves a remarkable legacy that spans several decades on and off the field, giving as much back to the game as he ever took.

Born and bred in Sydney, Crittle attended Sydney Boys High School where he played two years in the 1st XV. He attended the University of Sydney enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and History and for the following two seasons played as a centre with Sydney High Old Boys.

In 1959, he had a few runs as a lock in the pre-season with University and a year later he enrolled in a Diploma of Criminology so that he was qualified to play at Camperdown.

In 1962 Crittle was selected to represent South Harbour in the trials for the upcoming Wallaby tour to New Zealand. His performances saw him chosen for ‘Australia’ against The Rest in the final trial and from there, and to his great delight, was selected as a flanker for the tour.

Crittle delivered a series of strong performances to win a Test debut in Dunedin. Peter Johnson wrote: ‘Crittle gave a strong display. He charged into the heavy stuff but it was his clever distraction of one or more opponents in ruck and lineout which made it difficult to believe this was his initial Test.’

The following year, he toured South Africa and it was there that the Crittle-Rob Heming lock partnership began to be realised, becoming one of the best of the era.

On that tour Crittle was honoured with the captaincy in two uncapped matches, against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth and Central Universities in Bloemfontein.

In the third Test at Ellis Park, Crittle delivered one of his finest performances and was heavily involved in the crucial try scored by John Williams as Australia won 11-9 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Crittle toured with the Fifth Wallabies to Britain in 1966/67 however he was a highly controversial omission from the side that went to South Africa in 1969.

Crittle's contribution continued after his final Test in 1967, having chaired the first national coaching panel (1974), then coached Sydney (1980-81), and NSW (1982-83).

Crittle served as president of the New South Wales Rugby Union (1993-99) and vice president of the Australian Rugby Union (1994-2001) before he reached the pinnacle of his post-playing career, president of the Australian Rugby Union (2001-05).

He oversaw the planning and hosting of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to Rugby Union.

A year later he received the Vernon Pugh Award for distinguished service from the International Rugby Board, before being inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame in 2021 alongside second-row partner Heming.

He is survived by his children, Tiffany, Tara, Shannon & Ashleigh and his siblings Mark, James, Catherine, Francesca and Natasha.

Funeral to be held on:

Monday 15th July 2024 @ 1:30pm

St James Anglican Church

173 King Street  NSW 2000

(livestreaming link will be posted on funeral notice to follow)

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