Anthony John Daly
- 679Wallaby Number
Tony Daly was a vital cog in the finest and most stable front row that Australia ever fielded.
A quiet achiever, Daly was a flanker during his time at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill before he made the decision to transition to the front of the scrum when he joined the Gordon club.
Incredibly Daly had not played a senior representative match when he was pitched into battle alongside another debutant, Phil Kearns, to make his debut in the one-off Bledisloe Cup Test of 1989. Australia was far from disgraced in the 12-24 loss and with the addition of Ewen McKenzie the following year the Wallabies had a front three that went on to start together in an Australian record 36 Tests. From his debut until the end of the 1994 season Daly wore the No.1 jersey in 39 of the Wallabies’ 42 Tests.
One of Daly’s greatest moments in Wallaby gold came in the 1991 Rugby World Cup final against England. Following a magnificent piece of individual play from Tim Horan, Australia had a lineout throw two metres short of the English tryline. England were caught napping when, for the first time in the tournament, Kearns threw to Willie Ofahengaue at No.5. The defence was not prepared for a driving maul at that point of the lineout. Daly peeled around the outside and with McKenzie at his shoulder the two props crashed over the line for the lone try and the decisive score of the final.
There was one other moment in Daly’s career, done quietly and without fanfare, which personified the man. In the third Test of the 1990 series against France Daly came up against Dominique Bouet. Tragically, on his way home with the French team, Bouet died in a New Caledonia hotel room of a suspected heart attack. Daly immediately returned the jersey he had swapped with Bouet to the Frenchman’s family as the match in Sydney had been Bouet’s Test debut.
Tony Daly played 41 Tests for Australia in a seven-year international career.
Represented Australian U21s against the New Zealand Colts.
Daly won his first Test cap as the starting loosehead prop in the 12-24, one-off Bledisloe Cup Test loss to New Zealand in Auckland. He was also capped in both away Tests against France in Strasbourg and Lille.
He started and played every minute of all seven internationals. Daly scored his first Test try in the 19-25, 3rd Test loss to France in Sydney.
Daly earned nine caps and selection to his first Rugby World Cup where he scored the sole Australian try in the 12-6 final victory over England.
Daly was capped at loosehead in each of the opening six Tests however he suffered a protruded disc in his lower back during the Wallabies' 38-11 win over Leinster which prevented him from playing in the Tests against Ireland and Wales at the end of the year.
Daly partnered Kearns and McKenzie in all eight Tests of the year.
Daly played in all six Wallaby internationals of 1994.
In his final season of international rugby Daly was selected to his second Rugby World Cup where he started in the pool games against Canada and Romania.