Benjamin Norman Tune
- 727Wallaby Number
Ben Tune was a classic finishing winger, both elusive and powerful with a daring swerve, whose stellar career was crueled by a succession of debilitating injuries.
Educated at Brisbane’s St Paul’s College, Tune played his junior footy for Brothers/Teachers North and his club rugby for GPS. In 1993 he represented Australian Schools and two years later made his Queensland debut against Otago at Ballymore. In 1996 Tune, aged just 19, made his Test debut against Wales in Sydney.
While Tune had a career strike rate of a try in every two Tests he was also an excellent defender who had no fear and certainly didn’t care for reputations. His record when marking the great Jonah Lomu was particularly impressive. Nonetheless with great power came great fragility. Tune first injured his patella in 1998 but did not take the time for it to heal. He battled that suspect knee throughout his career and missed a number of seasons through injury, re-injury and rehabilitation.
When Tune was healthy and available he enjoyed several momentous victories including the 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand in 1998 and the 1999 Rugby World Cup triumph. With Joe Roff, Tune provided the Wallabies with a complete and formidable wing combination through their late 1990s period of dominance.
Ben Tune played 47 Tests and scored 24 tries in an 11-year, eight season international career.
Selected in the Australian Schools squad to tour New Zealand.
Represented Australian U19s.
Tune won his first Test cap as the starting left winger in the 2nd Test, 42-3 victory over Wales in Sydney. A week later he scored his first Test try in the 74-9 defeat of Canada in Brisbane. Tune won a total of six caps for the year.
Tune started on the right wing in all 12 Wallaby Tests. He finished the season as top try scorer (7).
He played in seven of the opening eight Tests, all on the right wing, but missed the Rugby World Cup qualifiers and the Spring Tour
Tune won 11 caps, all as the starting right winger. He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup, played in five of Australia’s six matches and scored the first try in the tournament final.
Tune hurt his ankle in April and was out of representative rugby for 14 weeks. He returned for Australia's final three Tests of the Tri Nations series only to break down against South Africa in Durban. Just minutes after he had replaced Joe Roff, Tune fielded a high ball, knocked it on and in frustration, raced towards the South African defence. He was tackled low by Warren Brosnihan and high by Ollie le Roux. The impact buckled Tune backwards and he suffered extensive ankle ligament damage. He then damaged his ankle in a training accident and missed the end-of-season Spring Tour.
Tune dislocated a shoulder and missed the entire domestic season. He earned two caps - against France and Wales - on the tour to the U.K. and Europe.
A knee injury during a club game in Brisbane ruled Tune out of the home series against France. He returned to win five caps, including all four in the Tri Nations, but suffered a nasty, season-ending hamstring strain early in the 17-6 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Tune missed the entire season and selection to a second Rugby World Cup due to a severe knee injury. He underwent surgery on both knees for patella tendonitis
Almost four years after he played his 46th international, Tune won his final cap off the bench in the 12-32, 1st Test loss to New Zealand in Christchurch.