Benjamin Edward Alexander
- 825Wallaby Number
Ben Alexander is one of the most decorated front-row forwards in Australian Rugby history.
A versatile prop with great ball skills, a good nose for the tryline and the ability to play on either side of the scrum, Alexander attended Sydney’s Knox Grammar, alma mater of Steve Cutler and Peter FitzSimons.
He then linked with the Uni-Norths club in the national capital while he studied at the University of Canberra and from there won selection to the Australian U21s in 2005. Successful stints with the Bedford Blues in England and the Western Sydney Rams in the 2007 Australian provincial competition saw Alexander earn a Brumbies Academy spot under Laurie Fisher.
In 2008, Alexander made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies against the Queensland Reds in Canberra and then played his maiden Test against France in Sydney. On the end-of-season Spring Tour Alexander recorded the rather rare achievement of starting in an international match before he had played a single game of Super Rugby when he ran on against Italy in Padova.
Alexander went on to become a near-permanent fixture within the Wallaby squad for the next five seasons. Somewhat appropriately Alexander and his long-time partner Benn Robinson held the Australian record for the most capped front-row forward of all time when they each played their 72nd and final international, the 2014, 17-26 loss to England at Twickenham.
In 2017 the seemingly ageless Alexander made his 144th appearance for Brumbies to eclipse the club record of legendary flanker George Smith.
Selected in the Australian squad for the fourth-annual IRB U21s World Championship tournament in Argentina.
Alexander won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced Benn Robinson at loose-head prop in the 34-13, 1st Test victory over France in Sydney. He was selected in the Wallaby squad for the end-of-season Spring Tour and earned his run-on XV debut when selected at loose-head prop in the 30-20 win against Italy at Padova.
Alexander played in all 14 Tests. He was a replacement in five of the opening six internationals before he secured the No.3 jumper for the final eight matches of the season.
A knee injury sustained in the first Test of the season against Fiji in Canberra saw Alexander miss the incoming England and Ireland series as well as the entire Tri-Nations tournament. He returned in Hong Kong against New Zealand and then played in all four of the Spring Tour internationals. Alexander scored his first Test try in the opening match of the tour, the 25-16 win over Wales in Cardiff.
Alexander won 12 Test caps in 2011, ten of which came as a starting tight head prop, and he was selected to his first Rugby World Cup.
Alexander picked up a further 12 caps however his reign in the starting XV was threatened by Waratah rival Sekope Kepu.
Alexander bounced back strongly in 2013 and won 14 caps, eleven as starting tight head, from the 15 internationals played by the Wallabies. He was rested for the 32-15 win over Ireland in Dublin.
In his final international season Alexander won 10 Test caps, all of which came off the bench. Alexander briefly held the Australian record for caps won by a front row forward (70) when he passed Al Baxter and Benn Robinson in the 33-28 win over Wales in Cardiff. Fourteen days later Robinson tied Alexander on 71 caps when the latter was rested for the Irish international. A week on, and in the last match of the year, Alexander came off the bench, only to be closely followed by Robinson, as each played their 72nd and final Test.