Benn Alexander Robinson
- 814Wallaby Number
Born in Sydney and a junior for both the Dural and Beecroft Rugby Clubs, Benn Robinson was the loosehead cornerstone of the Wallaby scrum for the best part of a decade.
Robinson’s path to national honours was well paved before he reached the senior ranks. He attended The King’s School and played in the college’s 2002 GPS Premiership winning 1st XV. From there he won selection to the GPS 1st XV, New South Wales Schools and Australian Schools. Robinson joined the Eastwood club where his consistently good form saw him picked for NSW U19s in 2003, make his NSW debut on the 2004 tour to Argentina and then represent Australian U21s in 2005.
In 2006 he made his Super Rugby debut for the Waratahs against arch-rivals Queensland in Brisbane. He capped off a remarkable season when he won both the Waratahs’ Rookie of the Year award and made his Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Robinson played 72 Tests over his decorated nine-year Wallaby career however two untimely injuries saw him miss both the 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups.
Somewhat appropriately Robinson and his long-time partner Ben Alexander co-held the Australian record for the most capped front-row forwards of all time when they each played their final international, the 2014, 17-26 loss to England at Twickenham.
In 2016 Robinson retired from rugby union after he suffered a serious eye injury against the Brumbies in Sydney. The injury caused blood cells to appear in the anterior chamber (front of the lens) of the eye; a condition called microscopic hyphema and was further complicated by an increase in pressure within the eye and a tear to the retina, for which he underwent surgery. He was then advised that the risk to his eye was too great to continue his career in rugby.
2002 Represented Australian Schools against Tongan Schools and New Zealand Schools
2005 Selected in the Australian squad for the fourth-annual IRB U21 Rugby World Championships in Argentina.
2006 Robinson won his first Test cap as the starting loose-head prop in the 3rd Test, 16-24 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park. Picked for the end-of-season Spring Tour to Europe he won two more caps, against Ireland and Scotland.
2007 Robinson won caps in the opening three Tests of the year however his season ended prematurely when he suffered a foot injury, one that ultimately cost him a place in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad.
2008 Robinson started in the opening nine Tests of the year and finished the season with 12 caps in total. He scored his first Test try in the 2nd Test, 27-15 victory over South Africa in Durban.
2009 Robinson played in the run-on XV in 13 of the Wallabies’ 14 internationals. His lone miss was the 2nd Test against Italy in Melbourne. He finished second to Matt Giteau in the John Eales Medal.
2010 He missed the first four Tests after he refractured a forearm in his comeback match for the Waratahs but went on to win caps in the season’s final 11 internationals, nine as the starting No.1.
2011 Robinson won caps in the opening three Tests of 2011 before an “innocuous twist” of his knee at training saw him suffer a shattering diagnosis. The arthroscope showed Robinson had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and torn his meniscus. Surgery was required, his season ended and with it the dream of a spot in the squad for the Rugby World Cup.
2012 He earned a career high 14 caps from the season’s 15 internationals. His only miss the eminently forgettable loss to Scotland in Newcastle. Robinson became just the third Wallaby prop to record 50 Test caps when he started in the 2nd Test, 8-31 loss to South Africa in Pretoria.
2013 Robinson picked up a further 10 Test caps throughout 2013, seven of which came as a replacement due to fierce competition from Queensland’s James Slipper.
2014 In his final season of international rugby Robinson won six caps, all off the bench, and predominantly on the end-of-season Spring Tour.