Anthony Joseph Parker
- 635Wallaby Number
Tony Parker was a fearless halfback who had the misfortunate for his career to clash with several of Australia’s finest No.9s including John Hipwell, Philip Cox and Nick-Farr-Jones. Born and raised in Brisbane, Parker was educated at St Joseph’s, Gregory Terrace and played one season in the 1st XV. After school he attended the University of Queensland and studied medicine. Parker celebrated his 20th birthday on the same day of his senior rugby representative debut, for Queensland against Sydney at Ballymore.
A string of strong performances for the Reds, particularly against France and Italy, earned Parker a spot on his first Wallaby tour, to the U.K. and Ireland in 1981-82. Although Cox was preferred for the Tests there was little doubt that Parker returned to Australia a far better player for the experience.
In 1983 Dominic Vaughan was selected at halfback for the first Test against Argentina at Ballymore. Unfortunately a concussion forced Vaughan from the field and as a consequence Parker came on to make his Test debut. He toured to Italy and France in 1983 however the emergence of a young Nick Farr-Jones in 1984 severely limited Parker’s opportunity for further representative selection. Tony Parker played three Tests for Australia in his one season of international rugby.
Parker won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Dominic Vaughan in the 3-18, 1st Test loss to Argentina at Ballymore. A week later he made his run-on debut in the 2nd Test, 29-13 victory at the S.C.G. Parker’s final cap was earned in partnership with Mark Ella in the 8-18, one-off Bledisloe Cup Test loss in Sydney.