Bruce Patrick Cooke
- 602Wallaby Number
Bruce Cooke was a solid, safe, versatile and dependable fullback who enjoyed a brief career in Wallaby gold.
Born in Townsville but educated at Brisbane’s Gregory Terrace, Cooke played one year in the school’s 1st XV (1969) alongside future Wallaby captain Tony Shaw. After graduation, Cooke played his club rugby at Easts however he had to wait until 1974 for his first taste of representative rugby when chosen to debut for Queensland, against New South Wales, at Ballymore.
Cooke played 27 matches for his state over the following four seasons before the emergence of Roger Gould in 1978 stifled Cooke’s opportunities. However the following year, when Gould was injured, Cooke stepped into the custodial role and he was on hand when the Maroons crushed New South Wales 48-10. Gould then returned for Queensland’s narrow loss to Ireland and while not injured and eminently available, Cooke was chosen to make his Test debut in Brisbane. Australia lost 12-27 and while Cooke played well enough in a beaten side the selectors shifted Laurie Monaghan to No.15 and brought Phil Crowe in on the right wing for the second Test in Sydney.
Cooke played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #602.
Cooke won his first Test cap as the starting fullback in the 1st Test, 12-27 loss to Ireland at Ballymore.