Adam Leigh Freier

  • 25Caps
  • 779Wallaby Number
  • 41Age
PositionHooker
Date Of Birth20 March 1980
Place Of BirthSydney
SchoolWaverley College
Debut ClubRandwick
ProvinceACT
Other ProvinceNSW & Melbourne Rebels
Debut Test Match2002 Wallabies v Argentina, Buenos Aires
Final Test Match2008 Wallabies v Wales, Cardiff

Biography

Adam Freier was an old-school hooker, loyal as the day was long, who gave nothing but his all for club and country. Freier did not possess the build of the more modern hooker (a.k.a. a third prop) and he did once write that he resembled one of the seven dwarves but he made up for that with guile, an aggressively competitive approach and a dislike of losing that bordered on the fanatical.

Born in Sydney and educated in the east at Waverley College, Freier developed an impressive rugby CV. He captained the Waverley 1st XV, played Australian Schools, and led both the national U19 and U21 sides. In 2000 he signed with the ACT Brumbies and made his Super Rugby debut against the Golden Cats in Canberra.

In 2002, Freier was picked in the squad for the Wallabies end-of-season Spring Tour and made his Test debut against Argentina in Buenos Aires. Freier narrowly missed selection to the 2003 Rugby World Cup and then only incrementally added to his cap tally over the following two years amid intense competition for the hooking role from both Jeremy Paul and Brendan Cannon.

In 2006, and with Paul an initial shock omission from the Test squad for the home series against England, it appeared that Lady Luck had returned to Freier's side however in the second Test at Melbourne's Telstra Dome he went and ruptured the volar plate in his foot to prematurely end his season. Freier enjoyed a wonderful 2007 and his hard work paid dividends when he won a spot in the Australian squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The following year Freier and future Wallaby captain Stephen Moore shared the No. 2 jersey before Freier went on to suffer a wretched run of injuries. In 2009 a torn biceps muscle required surgery. Upon his return to the field in that season's Shute Shield Grand Final he injured his hamstring and any faint hope of a Spring Tour spot was lost. 2010 brought a second torn hamstring and later a lumber discectomy to remove a generative disc in his lower spine, 2011 a second back operation and another torn biceps, and 2012 a shoulder reconstruction and a knee arthroscopy. By that time Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau had accrued more than 100 caps between them before both led the Wallaby scrum through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

Freier played 25 Tests for Australia in a seven-year international career.

Highlights

1997

Represented Australian Schools against England Schools and selected in the match day squad against New Zealand Schools.

1998

Represented Australian U19s

1999

Captained Australian U19s against New Zealand U19s and Fiji U19s.

2000

Represented Australian U21s.

2001

Captained Australian U21s.

2002

Freier won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Jeremy Paul in the 17-6 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires. A week later he earned a first run-on XV cap at hooker against Ireland at Lansdowne Road. Freier was also capped in the final two internationals of the year against England and Italy where he start his second test.

2003

Freier earned two caps off the bench against South Africa in Cape Town and New Zealand in Sydney.

2005

Freier picked up a single cap as a replacement against New Zealand in Auckland. Although a member of the Spring Tour squad, he missed the majority of the season through injury.

2006

Freier started the second Test against England in Melbourne but suffered a ruptured voltar plate in his foot which ruled him out for the rest of the season.

2007

He played in all 12 Wallaby internationals and won selection to his first Rugby World Cup. Freier scored his first Test try in the 91-3 defeat of Japan in Lyon.

2008

Freier won his final five caps off the bench and played his last Test against Wales in Cardiff.

Adam Leigh Freier