Bruce Robert Battishall
- 566Wallaby Number
Bruce Battishall was an extremely fit, aggressive flanker who had the misfortune for his career to clash with that of a pair of backrowers - Greg Davis and Peter Sullivan - both of whom captained the Wallabies.
A product of Hurstville High School and a mainstay of the St George Club, Battishall’s first taste of representative rugby came in 1967 when he debuted for Sydney against Australian Services. Unfortunately he then had to patiently bide his time for six years before he played his one and only match for New South Wales.
In 1973 a spot opened for the Wallabies’ nine-match short tour of Wales, England and Italy after Greg Cornelsen withdrew with a knee injury. Battishall was called into the squad but wrenched his knee before the Wallabies had played their first match. He finally made it back onto the field, against West Wales, and delivered a display that pushed him into Test calculations.
When Sullivan, the captain, withdrew from the Test against England Test due to a chronic knee injury he had carried throughout the tour, Battishall came in to make his Test debut. In one of the better Australian displays on tour, Battishall stood out in a pack that surprisingly dominated at the breakdown but sadly not on the scoreboard. This proved to be his only Test appearance as he suffered a hamstring injury and then a knee cartilage operation to miss the 1974 Test season.
Battishall did earn a spot on the short tour to France and Italy at the end of 1976 but did not play in either of the Tests.
Bruce Battishall played one test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #566.
Battishall won his first Test cap on the flank alongside Dick Cocks and Tony Shaw in the 3-20 loss to England at Twickenham.