Andrew Thomas Blades
- 733Wallaby Number
Born in Sydney and educated at Killara High School, Andrew Blades was a tighthead prop who served a long apprenticeship behind World Cup winner Ewen McKenzie before he too became a World Champion. A superb scrum technician and powerful mauling forward, Blades represented Australia at both schools and aged levels. He played his club rugby for Gordon and spent four seasons plying his craft before he debuted for New South Wales in 1992 against Canterbury in Christchurch. Blades was then selected on the Wallaby tour of the U.K. but did not play in either of the Tests against Ireland and Wales.
In 1995 he moved north, to Queensland, and won the Super 10 title. The following year he toured Europe and the U.K. with the Wallabies and finally, at age 29, made his Test debut against Scotland at Murrayfield. From his debut Blades missed just nine Tests through to the end of the 1999 Rugby World Cup final. Andrew Blades played 32 Tests for Australia in his four-year international career.
Represented Australian Schools against Japan Schools and New Zealand Schools. Represented Australia U17s.
Selected in the Australian U21s squad.
Blades won his first Test cap as the starting No.3 in the 29-19 victory over Scotland in Edinburgh. Two weeks later he retained his place for the 22-12 win against Ireland in Dublin.
He was not capped during the home series against France but returned to play in nine of the final 10 Tests of the year.
Blades started at tight head prop in 12 of the Wallabies’ 13 internationals.
Blades earned eight caps and was selected to his first Rugby World Cup. He started in five of Australia’s six matches and played alongside Michael Foley and Richard Harry in each of the three finals.