Anthony Massey Gelling

  • 2Caps
  • 554Wallaby Number
  • 75Age
PositionNo.8 / Flanker
Date Of Birth31 January 1946
Place Of BirthWest Wyalong, NSW
SchoolWest Wyalong High School & Wagga Agricultural College
Debut ClubWest Wyalong
ProvinceNSW
Debut Test Match1972 Wallabies v New Zealand, 1st Test Wellington
Final Test Match1972 Wallabies v Fiji, Suva

Biography

A product of West Wyalong in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Tony Gelling was a genuine stalwart of country rugby. Recognised by the locals as ‘The Footballer’, Gelling had a phenomenal representative career.  He played against every country that visited Australia from 1966 to 1977. Toughened by hard manual work on the farm and a fanaticism toward physical fitness Gelling was a ready-made forward. In his view rugby was a simple game about the three ‘Ps’ - possession, position, and pace. At just 20 years of age he was thrown into the cauldron of a British Lions tour when selected for New South Wales Country in a narrow 3-6 loss in Canberra. That match was the springboard to higher honours for both his state and his country.

In 1968 Gelling made his debut for New South Wales against Queensland at Ballymore but then waited four years for his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand and Fiji. He played in seven of the 13 games on the first leg of the tour and earned a debut in the first Test at Wellington. In 1976 Gelling earned a late call up for the Wallaby tour to France and Italy as cover for Mark Loane who continued to suffer the effects of a dislocated shoulder. Gelling was the manager, captain and coach of the Australian team to the Hong Kong Sevens in both 1976 and 1977.

Highlights

1972

Gelling won his first Test cap at No.8 alongside captain Greg Davis and Peter Sullivan in the 1st Test, 6-29 loss to New Zealand at Athletic Park. He earned a second cap on the flank with Dick Cocks and new captain Peter Sullivan in the 21-19 victory over Fiji in Suva.

1976

Gelling captained Australia to the Hong Kong 7s.

1977

Gelling captained Australia to the Hong Kong 7s.

Anthony Massey Gelling