Benjamin Sean Cecil Mowen
- 869Wallaby Number
Described as the Wallabies' biggest punt on a Test novice captain since Mark Ella, Ben Mowen did not reach the pinnacle of his sport until the twilight years of his career. A very intelligent, astute and well-respected tactician, Mowen’s journey was anything but straightforward as he represented three Super Rugby franchises in a near-decade long climb to Test level.
Brisbane-born and educated at Villanova College, alma mater of Grand Slam captain Andrew Slack, Mowen initially played for the Brisbane Easts club.
In 2006 he broke into the Queensland Reds senior side and earned a Super Rugby debut against the Sharks. Mowen then moved south of the border where he settled at the famous Randwick club but then had to wait 12 months before he made the Waratahs Super Rugby squad.
After three frustrating seasons with New South Wales, Mowen joined the ACT Brumbies to link up with World Cup-winning South African coach Jake White. He assumed the captaincy and guided a team that had finished 13th in 2011 to the verge of the Super Rugby finals in his first year before he led them all the way to the final in 2013. Mowen made his Test debut against the British & Irish Lions in June and was then, in just his seventh Test, given the honour of captaining his country against Argentina in September.
In early 2014 Mowen sensationally quit Australian rugby just seven months after his Test debut. In an unprecedented situation for an incumbent Wallaby captain Mowen said an intense travel schedule and missed time with daughter Eleanor convinced him it was time to put his family first. The decision to move to France effectively ended his international career and ruled him out of contention for the Wallabies' 2015 World Cup squad.
Selected in the Australian Schools squad to tour Tonga and New Zealand.
Captained Australia to a runners-up finish at fourth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Argentina.
Mowen won his first Test cap as a starting blindside flanker in the 1st Test, 21-23 loss to the British & Irish Lions at Suncorp. He became Australia's 80th Test captain when he led the Wallabies against Argentina in Perth. In his only season of Test rugby Mowen was selected in the run-on XV for all 15 internationals.