Brett Russell Sheehan
- 815Wallaby Number
Brett Sheehan, the footballer, was described in many ways during his career - feisty, niggling, nuggety, annoying, irritating, “an angry ant” and fiery. It will surprise few that he played halfback. However, while confrontational and highly competitive, Sheehan was a player that his teammates were extremely happy to have on their side, not in the opposition.
He was born in Geraldton, Western Australia and is one of only a handful of Test capped Wallabies from Australia’s largest state. The Sheehan family moved to Sydney’s northern beaches where Brett attended St. Augustine’s College before he moved on to St. Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill. He broke his leg during his final school year and missed out on representative selection however his talent had been noticed by the NRL’s Brisbane Broncos who signed him to a two-year contract in 1999. A series of injuries saw Sheehan released and he returned to Sydney and played grade rugby with the Manly Marlins. In 2001 he returned to rugby league with the Northern Eagles and then South Sydney through 2003.
In 2004 he came back to rugby with the Warringah Rats, accepted a short-term contract season with the Queensland Reds and the following year made his Super Rugby debut against The Bulls. In 2006 the Waratahs signed Sheehan as backup to captain Chris Whitaker. Sheehan was then picked in that year’s Tri-Nations’ squad and made his Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg. In 2012 the veteran and doggedly persistent halfback became the second oldest Wallaby since World War II to make his run on debut when picked at No.9 for what was his final career Test, against Italy in Firenze.
Sheehan won his first Test cap off the bench when he replaced George Gregan in the 3rd Test, 16-24 loss to South Africa at Ellis Park.
Sheehan earned two caps as a replacement in the 2nd and 3rd Tri-Nations’ Tests against South Africa.
In his final year of international rugby Sheehan won a career high four caps including his one and only start in a Test, the 22-19 victory over Italy in Firenze.