Bruce George Wells
- 441Wallaby Number
Bruce Wells was a talented, sharp, nippy fly half who had a brief international career in the late 1950s.
Born in Sydney, Wells was educated at The Shore School where he played two seasons in the 1st XV (1952-53) and made the GPS 2nd XV in his final year.
After graduation he served a stint in outback Queensland as a jackaroo. When his family purchased a newsagency in Orange, Wells joined the local Emus Club. In 1957, Wells represented Western New South Wales against the touring All Blacks at Warren. That year he also played for Country 2nds and was selected for the Australian Colts tour to Ceylon.
The New Zealand Maori visited Australia in 1958 and played five matches, including one against Queensland, before the opening international. The Wallaby team for that first Test included incumbent fly half, Newcastle’s Ron Harvey. However, Harvey was forced to withdraw due to an injured back and Wells was called in for his Test debut. In a scrappy match Australia prevailed 15-14 thanks to a last minute penalty goal by Jim Lenehan which came after Wells was obstructed by his opposite George Blake. Wallaby coach Bill McLaughlin was not satisfied with the team’s form and he felt that the main fault was a ‘lack of momentum in the backline.’ As a consequence the Australian selectors made eight changes, including both halves, for the 2nd Test in Sydney.
Later that season Queensland’s Harry Roberts was selected as Arthur Summons’ understudy on the tour to New Zealand. Summons then dominated the fly half position for the next two seasons before he switched codes in 1960. When John Dowse and Harry Roberts were preferred for the 1961 internationals, Wells retired.
Bruce Wells played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #441.
Wells won his first Test cap at fly half outside fellow debutant Don Logan in the 1st Test, 15-14 victory over the New Zealand Maori at the Exhibition Ground.