Brendan Cannon was a fine hooker who arguably possessed the best lineout throw of his time. Nonetheless, Cannon had to persevere, remain resolute and bide his time due to the raft of good Australian No.2s in his era. Born and raised in Brisbane, Cannon attended St. Laurence's College, did not play Australian schools but was selected to represent at U19s level. Cannon was then very fortunate just to see his 20th birthday after he survived an horrific accident where his car was forced into the path of a semi-trailer. He debuted for the Reds in 1994 but played just 29 games in six seasons as he served a lengthy apprenticeship behind Michael Foley. In a decision that proved to be prescient, Cannon moved to the New South Wales Waratahs in 2000 following the retirement of Phil Kearns. A year later Cannon started in the Australia ‘A’ XV that beat the British & Irish Lions 28-25 but was overlooked for the 1st Test in Brisbane. However, a serious knee injury to Jeremy Paul saw Cannon included in the squad for the 2nd Test in Melbourne where he made his international debut. Cannon soon became an integral part of the Wallaby squad and in one notable career highlight he started in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final. Unfortunately injury brought a premature end to his playing days. In 2006, Cannon required surgery after he injured his neck in a scrum while playing for the Western Force against the Highlanders. Just a year later Cannon was involved in a scrum collapse against the Crusaders that left him with weakness and numbness in his left arm. Cannon soon announced his retirement from professional rugby after he was advised that a return to rugby would have put his spinal function at risk and exposed him to further and possibly permanent spinal cord or nerve injury. Brendan Cannon played 42 Tests for Australia in a five-year international career.
Represented Australian U19s against New Zealand U19s.
Represented Australian U21s
Cannon won his first Test Cap off the bench when he replaced Michael Foley at hooker in the 2nd Test, 35-14 victory over the British & Irish Lions in Melbourne. He won four additional caps over the course of the year including three off the bench on the Spring Tour against Spain, France and Wales.
He picked up a further six caps including his first start at hooker in the 2nd Test, 31-25 victory over France in Sydney. Cannon scored his first Test try in the 31-33, 2nd Test loss to South Africa in Johannesburg.
Cannon earned a career high 13 caps and started 10 of the final 11 Tests at No.2. He won selection to his first Rugby World Cup and packed down between Al Baxter and Bill Young in the tournament final against England.
Cannon started seven of the opening eight Tests but only picked up two replacement caps from the four Spring Tour internationals.
Cannon missed the domestic Tests and the opening half of the Tri-Nations but returned to play in the final seven internationals of the year, six as the run-on XV hooker.
Cannon suffered a neck injury during the Super Rugby season that required surgery and put him out of the game for four months. He won his final two Test caps on the end-of-season Spring Tour against Wales and Italy.