Barry Thomas Roberts
- 417Wallaby Number
Barry Roberts was one of the last internationals coached by the famous Brother Henry at St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill. A fast and hard running three-quarter, Roberts used his speed and bulk to make the break and was rarely bundled into touch as he perfected the art of the centre kick. He was also an extremely reliable lineout thrower and a consistent point scorer.
During his time at St. Joseph’s, Roberts played two years in both the school’s 1st XV and the GPS 1st XV (1951-52), and also started in First Grade for the Drummoyne club. After school Roberts joined the Manly club where over nine seasons he played 135 First Grade games and scored 678 points.
In 1953, Roberts made his debut for New South Wales against the 1953 Wallabies on their return from South Africa. Two years later he was chosen on his first Wallaby tour, to New Zealand, in the team lead by John Solomon. Although he did not play in the Tests, Roberts finished the tour as the second leading points and try scorer.
In 1956 Australia played two home Tests against South Africa. Garth Jones started on the left wing in the 1st Test but suffered a broken cheekbone to be unavailable for the 2nd Test a week later. Country winger John Stanbrook was named as Jones’ replacement however he withdrew because he could not ‘take time off from his farm.’ As a consequence, Roberts was called in to make his Test debut. Unfortunately, for a second consecutive match, South Africa emerged victorious by 9-0.
Roberts played further representative rugby for New South Wales and enjoyed two notable achievements. He converted two crucial penalty goals in the 18-14 upset win over the British Lions in 1959 and the following year he scored a then record 22 points against Queensland.
Barry Roberts played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #416.
Roberts won his first Test cap on the left wing in the 2nd Test, 0-9 loss to South Africa in Brisbane.