Brian Anthony Weir
Kiama is a beautiful seaside town on the South Coast of New South Wales. It is best known for its beaches and its blowholes. What it is less well known for, but should be, is the fact that during the 1960s the Kiama Rugby Club produced three Wallabies, two of whom - Geoff Shaw and Brian Weir - toured to South Africa in 1969.
A fullback, Weir's play was characterised by the prodigious length of his punt kicks, goal kicking accuracy and well-timed attacking raids. He excelled with the ability to chime into a backline, create an overlap for his three-quarters and in doing so deliver try scoring opportunities.
Weir learned his rugby, alongside Shaw, under the tutelage of Br Tim Brosnan during his years at Wollongong’s Edmund Rice College. Upon returning to their hometown the duo linked up with Gareth Grey, another fellow future Wallaby, to form the nucleus of a Kiama side that dominated Illawarra rugby for a decade.
In 1968 Weir represented Illawarra in its first- ever Caldwell Cup / NSW Country Championship victory - the 17-9 win over the ACT - one in which Shaw, Grey and Weir contributed 14 points. Weir’s performance that day earned him selection in the NSW Country first XV for the Wallaby Trophy tournament. The following year Weir delivered a “great display of goalkicking” in the Possibles vs. Probables Wallaby trial ahead of the tour to South Africa. He kicked three conversions and two penalty goals for the Probables in their 27-18 victory to book his ticket to the Republic.
On tour, Weir hit the ground running to score 35 points in his first three matches and in doing so firmly put the heat on incumbent fullback Arthur McGill. Ahead of the mid-week fixture against Border the press of the day wrote: “If he [Weir] turns in a good performance in today's match, he may be able to oust McGill from the top spot.” Ten points at East London were followed by 11 more six days later against Far Northern Transvaal and this review from AAP: “For Weir, the match was a trial for a place in the Test team. His excellent place-kicking and his readiness to join the attack must have enhanced his reputation.” Nonetheless McGill held his spot for the first two internationals before Weir suffered a thigh injury against Western Transvaal. With no other recognised fullback on tour McGill then started six of the final seven matches, including the third and fourth Tests.
Upon his return to Australia Weir found himself in stiff competition with the ACT’s highly rated Peter Payten merely to make the Country XV let alone contest higher honours. Weir “returned to the big time”, for Country against South Africa in 1971, “with a good game. Some kicking was astray but most was very good and his positional play was almost faultless, as was his tackle.” Four years later Weir was selected for the Probables vs. Possible trial ahead of the Seventh Wallaby tour to Britain however the selectors opted for Laurie Monaghan and Newcastle’s Mike Fitzgerald as fullbacks. At the end of the 1975 season, Weir retired from the game.
Weir played 10 matches on the tour to South Africa - vs. Orange Free State at Welkom (W 47-9); vs. Rhodesia at Bulawayo (W 16-11); vs. Natal at Durban (L 14-19); vs. Border at East London (W 22-9); vs. Far Northern Transvaal at Pietersburg (W 26-0); vs. Boland at Wellington (L 3-12); vs. Central Universities at Port Elizabeth (W 26-11); vs. North East Cape at Graaf-Reinert (W 12-11); vs. Western Transvaal at Potchefstroom (L 6-18); and vs. North West Cape (W 37-6)