Brendan Paul Nasser
- 685Wallaby Number
Brendan Nasser was a powerful backrow forward with exceptional skills who became a World Champion.
Nasser graduated from Brisbane’s St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace - one of Australian Rugby’s great nurseries - where he played in the 1981 1st XV.
In 1986, Nasser made his Queensland debut against Auckland at Ballymore however his near-term path to higher honours was complicated by the presence of Simon Poidevin, Julian Gardner, Jeff Miller and Scott Gourley among the premier flankers within Australia.
In 1989, with Gourley departed for rugby league and Poidevin unavailable due to work commitments, Nasser was selected on the Wallabies tour to Canada and France and made his Test debut against the French in Strasbourg. In 1991 he won selection in the Australian squad for the Rugby World Cup and played his final Test in the pool game against Western Samoa.
In 1992 he went to Oxford University for postgraduate studies and was awarded a ‘Blue’ in the annual ‘Varsity match against Cambridge. Nasser then coached the OURFC Varsity team for six seasons.
Brendan Nasser played eight Tests for Australia in a three-year international career.
Nasser won his first Test cap in the run-on XV at blindside flanker in the 1st Test, 32-15 victory over France in Strasbourg. A week later he earned a second cap in the 2nd Test, 19-25 loss at Lille.
Nasser was capped on the side of the scrum in the opening four Tests of the season - France (3) and the United States. He was selected in the Wallaby squad to tour New Zealand but was forced to return home early on due to a suspected broken cheekbone. When that proved not to be the case he returned to the side and delivered an exceptional performance in the 2nd Test, 17-27 loss in Auckland. Unfortunately, Nasser was then forced to withdraw from the team for the 3rd Test in Wellington after he failed to recover from a ‘brutal assault’ in the midweek match against the Bay of Plenty. Nasser suffered a badly gashed right eyelid, one that required six stitches, and by game day the swelling had not eased. If he played it was almost inevitable that the wound would re-open. While that possibility didn’t particularly worry Nasser he was more concerned about being a ‘liability to the team.’ In a notably selfless decision Nasser withdrew, Sam Scott-Young came into the side and Australia recorded a famous 21-9 victory.
He was selected to his first Rugby World Cup and picked up a single cap in the 9-3 pool match win over Western Samoa at Pontypool.