Brian William Mansfield
- 583Wallaby Number
Brian Mansfield was a solid, unheralded, tradesman-like lock forward who went about his business without fuss nor fanfare but never did he let his team down. Mansfield came to the fore during New South Wales Country’s golden era of the mid-1970s under future Wallaby coach Daryl Haberecht.
Mansfield, a product of Dubbo High School, played club rugby in many regional centres including Newcastle, Inverell, Moree and Wagga Wagga.
He made his NSW Country debut in 1973 and a year later toured with them to North America and New Zealand. In 1975 Mansfield played for Country as they shocked England 14-13 in Goulburn and he was also in the side that crushed Japan 97-20 in Moree. When Garrick Fay withdrew from the 2nd Test against Japan in Brisbane, Mansfield was called in to make his Test debut. Mansfield went on to win selection for the Sixth Wallabies tour to Britain however a back injury suffered in training limited him to just two uncapped appearances.
One notable highlight of Mansfield’s career came in 1975 when NSW Country defeated Sydney 22-20. Country had a tap kick just inside the Sydney half and their fly half called ‘Tap Five’, the signal for a special move the team had practised at training. The eight forwards then formed a horseshoe that faced their own tryline. Halfback John Hipwell took the tap, turned and edged into the horseshoe as two of the backs joined the setup. Immediately all eleven players, with hands up jumpers, broke from the formation and scattered. Pandemonium and bewilderment reigned in the Sydney defence. Greg Cornelsen emerged with the ball on the far touchline of T.G. Milner Field and took off for the line. When covered on the quarter he popped a pass to Geoff Shaw. Shaw made it to within a few metres of the tryline before he lobbed the ball inside to a trailing Mansfield who crashed over for a dramatic try and tied the match.
Mansfield won his first Test cap at lock alongside Reg Smith in the 2nd Test, 50-25 victory over Japan at Ballymore.